Tehran (IP) - Head of Public Relations Department of Ministry of Health says considering the fast speed of progress in recent weeks and months, one or two cases of Iranian made vaccine will be produced to treat COVID-19 and Iran will turn into a vaccine producer country in the Middle East.

Iran Press/Iran news: In an exclusive interview with Iran Press, Kianoush Jahanpour answered questions regarding Iran's progress in treating COVID-19 with traditional medicines and other related issues. The full text of the interview comes as follows:

1-People in the world are increasingly welcoming various traditional medicine, what's the view of the medical society of Iran to traditional medicine? Does it have any place in the treatment protocols of viral disease, especially the coronavirus? 

Jahanpour: In recent decades, there has been an increasing tendency of people's referring to complementary medicine treatments, including traditional medicine, which in some countries, including Iran, has a long history and rich heritage.

To this end, the issue of traditional medicine and complementary treatment has become an academic approach and Iran has taken the approach. Today, we are faced with dozens of departments of traditional medicine with hundreds of graduates in specialized courses in this field, and certainly, the issue of the academic approach of traditional medicine, including the treatment of COVID-19, is on the agenda.

The criterion for advising people, especially about emerging diseases, is that they should definitely be evidence-based, and any findings based on traditional medicine textbooks that provide scientific evidence of their effectiveness in treating or helping to cure COVID-19 will be used; such that more than 67 research projects and clinical trials are being carried out in this regard in the country, so according to their results, it is possible to judge the effectiveness and issuance of licenses for production and prescription.

2-How many herbal drugs have already been confirmed by the Foods and Drugs Administration to be used in the treatment of the coronavirus disease, to what extent they work?

Jahanpour: Some of the drugs that were previously produced in the context of Herbal Medicine or based on traditional medicine in the country may now be used in the complementary treatment of COVID-19, which were previously generally licensed.

But specifically, for the treatment of COVID-19, so far four herbal medicines have temporarily been licensed according to traditional medical training, to complete the information of clinical trials. Of course, a number are also under investigation, which is usually reviewed based on the same procedure in the specialized commission in the Food and Drug Administration.

If they came relatively effective in treating or helping to treat the disease, they will usually receive a temporary 6-month production license to complete the information and if, after a period of six months, the evidence of their effectiveness in the complementary therapy gets sufficient, they can obtain a permanent license.

3-The Iranian-made coronavirus vaccines are announced to be listed as the WHO candidate vaccines, tell us about the significance of the medical achievement of Iran, and that when do the Iranian vaccines are tested on humans?

Jahanpour: Since the unset of the COVID- 19 pandemics, about 17 research institutes or knowledge-based companies in the country have put production of COVID- 19 vaccine on their agenda, and almost all of them have succeeded in producing the desired vaccine with different strategies in the laboratories, at least eight of these companies have entered the animal studies and preclinical studies phase and a number have passed this stage.

Two cases have reached the human studies stage, which has been discussed in the ethics committee, and one case has received initial permission from the ethics committee and will enter the clinical studies phase soon after the issuance of the ethics code, other companies will follow the same process soon in the coming weeks, this is valuable because it will definitely help Iran to be a vaccine producer country the Middle East.

Considering the fast speed of progress in recent weeks and months, one or two cases of Iranian made vaccine will be produced to treat COVID-19.

4-Given that the production of the vaccine is competitive and limited in the world, what measures are taken to ensure the share of the Iranian people, and does the Iranian vaccine remove these concerns?

Jahanpour: It is predicted that an effective vaccine will be made for the definitive treatment of COVID- 19, so by the direct order of the Minister of Health Saeed Namaki and the President, various strategies have been considered to prepare the COVID-19 vaccine for the people.

Beforehand, negotiations with the vaccine manufacturers which have been envisioned can get a license for an effective, healthy, safe, and definitive vaccine have been done, plus Joining the COVAX Union (COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator,

The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.) and signing the agreement there, to access vaccine resources with the focus on the World Health Organization (WHO) and, of course, at the same time, we followed the Iranian-made vaccine production process.

"We think that with direct purchase from some companies and joint production with them, as well as purchase from the COVAX Union and the production of domestic vaccines, will eventually meet the needs of the Iran and Iranians for vaccines within a few months."

5-Tell us about the latest status of the treatment of the COVID-19 in the country, and do the newly practiced limitations have led to reducing the number of infected cases, and when the economic, social, and sports activities get back to normal?

Jahanpour: With the mechanisms and restrictions which were adopted, it was predicted that in recent weeks, the infections, hospitalizations, and death toll caused by COVID-19 in the country would be reduced. "We have practically gone through a downward spiral of the virus, but this requires continuity of the restrictions and compliance with maximum health protocols."

Iranian cities based on the defined smart structures are divided into three Yellow, Red, and orange zones meaning based on the number of their hospitalizations, infections, and death toll. Cities are assessed weekly.

There are predefined hygienic protocols for each zone, as soon as each of these areas enters the said colors, the preset protocols and restrictions would be implemented. As long as the city remains in the Red condition, preset restrictions for Red zones would be implemented and no notification or regulation is set on a monthly basis but it has been set for earlier.


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