Iran capable of producing 40 million doses of polio vaccine

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 27
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The Islamic Republic has the capacity to produce 40 million doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) per year, Hamid Kohram, the head of the Iran's Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute said.

If the needed financial supports is provided the institute can produce over 40 million doses of OPV annually, Kohram said, the Islamic Republic's official IRNA news agency reported Jan. 27.

He also forecasted that about 20 million doses of OPV will be produced in the institute by the end of current Iranian fiscal year (March 21).

Iran is among ten countries in the world which have the technology for producing OPV, Kohram said, adding the institute has started vaccine production 40 years ago.
Despite the fact that Iran is located in a region with high risk of polio, no reports of the disease have been reported in the last 16 years, he said.

Kohram also emphasized that the vaccines produced in the institute meet the international standards and the country can export its OPV in the future, if the needed infrastructure and equipment are provided.

Western sanctions have affected Iran's vaccine industry as well as the country's other industries. The vaccine industry also suffers lack of investment, old technology issues and problems with purchasing new equipment.
The vaccine industry in Iran is state-owned. The private sector only plays the role as vaccine importer for the government.

As a result of efforts to expand vaccine production, Iran had been lauded by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most successful country of the region in immunizing children against polio. Furthermore, the Razi Institute was one of the first institutes in the world able to mass-produce the poliomyelitis vaccines.

In 1997 and 1998, the annual production of all vaccines in the country was around 2.8 billion doses and was expected to rise to 3 billion doses in 1999.

In addition to covering domestic demand, Iran was exporting vaccines to 19 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe at the time.

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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