“We are working to provide the vaccine from various sources and we are working regardless of non-expert factors,” Namaki said in a televised interview on Wednesday.
“We will import the vaccine soon and the injection protocols have also been prepared for the priority groups."
He added, "Efforts to produce vaccines in the country are strongly well followed and as I said before, Iranian vaccines will be available by spring.”
Many people have been volunteering for Iran’s domestic vaccine for COVID-19 after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei disallowed imports of Western vaccines over side effect concerns.
According to Dr. Davoud Payam-Tabrasi, a member of the national committee tasked with developing the indigenous vaccine, the locally-produced vaccine so far has been administered to a few volunteers, and is to be given to as many more volunteers.
The general health condition of the recipients is favorable, he added, saying the first phase of the injections was to last until February 29.
If the vaccine proves effective, as many as 500 more people will receive the injection as part of the next phase, the physician noted.
Daily deaths caused by the COVID-19 outbreak have dropped by over 70% in the past month in Iran, as the third wave of infections subsided, but efforts continue for the complete curbing of the pandemic.