TEHRAN (AP) – Iran has finalized an agreement with Russia to buy 60 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine for the coronavirus, state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.
The report, which quotes Iranian ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali, says the contract has been “signed and finalized” for enough vaccines for 30 million people.
Jalali said Iran will receive the vaccines by the end of the year.
On Saturday, Iran entered a 10-day lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
Authorities ordered the closure of most businesses and offices were restricted to a third of their capacity in cities declared as “red zones” with the highest rates of infections.
Tehran and now 250 cities and towns across the country have been declared red zones. They have the highest rates of new cases and the most severe restrictions in place. More than 85% of the country now has a slightly lower red or orange status for infections, authorities said.
The severe increase in cases follows a public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Millions of people traveled to the Caspian Sea coast and other popular vacation spots, packed markets to buy clothes and gathered at family homes for parties, in defiance of government health guidelines.
The new enclosure restricts access to parks, restaurants, bakeries, beauty salons, shopping centers and bookstores.
COVAX, a UN-supported international collaboration for equitable distribution of vaccines around the world, delivered its first shipment of vaccines to Iran on Monday, containing 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.