Iran is expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX, said Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei, APA reports citing IRNA.
"Iran was one of the first countries that applied to purchase vaccine through COVAX but we faced difficulty in money transfers due to limitations and bank sanctions and lost our turn. Otherwise the country would have received 16 million doses of vaccine sooner," said Rabiei.
"Although following many negotiations and the Foreign Ministry's efforts, the problems have been resolved, and the vaccines will be delivered to Iran soon," said the official.
"Part of Iran's blocked money in Iraq has been assigned for vaccine purchase and we expect the Iraqi government to be more diligent in transferring the rest of Iran's money," he said.
Iran continues to monitor the coronavirus situation in the country. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.
The Islamic Republic of Iran only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19. The pandemic hit a wide range of businesses in Iran since its outbreak in mid-February.
The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.