“Iran has seen its first day without a death from the coronavirus, while America and Europe still have high casualties,” Health Minister Bahram Einollahi tweeted.
At the peak of the pandemic, in August 2021, Iran registered more than 50,000 new cases per day. That same month also marked the highest daily fatality rate, 709 deaths per day.
Earlier this year, in February, authorities said the aggressive variant of omicron was dominant in Iran and urged hospitals to prepare for another wave of infections and hospitalizations.
Like many middle-income countries, Iran has relied on Sinopharm, the state-backed Chinese vaccine. The country also offers citizens a range of other shots to choose from – Oxford-AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V, Indian firm Bharat’s Covaxin, as well as the homegrown COVIran Barekat shot.
As anti-American hostility simmered, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had banned the importation of Western rounds. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech remain banned.