Iran returns U.S manufactured COVID vaccines to Poland

Feb 22, 2022: Iran has returned 820,000 doses of the Corona virus vaccine donated by Poland because they were manufactured in the United States.

Poland has donated about a million doses of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine to Iran, state TV quoted Mohammad Hashmi, a health ministry official, as saying on Monday.

“But when the vaccines arrived in Iran, we found out that 820,000 doses of them which were imported from Poland were from the United States,” he said.

“After coordination with the Polish ambassador to Iran, it was decided that the vaccines would be returned.”

In a letter to the head of the Customs Authority, Iranian Health Minister Bahram Einollahi, said that despite Poland’s assurances, the jabs came from “unauthorized sources”.

He said Polish suppliers had promised to “replace the vaccine with an authorized source” and return the batch. In 2020, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Husseini Khamenei, who has a final say on all state affairs, ruled out any possibility of a U.S or British vaccine entering the country, calling it “forbidden.”

Iran now only imports Western vaccines that are not manufactured in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Iran is battling a sixth wave of coronavirus infections, and officials say the aggressive Omicron strain is now dominant in the country. With a total of more than 135,000 deaths from COVID-19, Iran has the highest number of national deaths in the Middle East, according to official figures.

Iran lets citizens choose from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V, Indian firm Bharat’s Covaxin and its home-grown COVIran Barekat shot.

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