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Iran says to use both local and foreign COVID-19 vaccines

FILE PHOTO: An Iranian woman wearing a protective face mask, walks on the street, as government imposed a full lockdown, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran November 21, 2020. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran plans to use foreign coronavirus vaccines while also developing its own, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday as new daily cases hit a record high in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.

“Relying on its scientists, Iran will be able to make vaccines domestically... To ensure the health of the people, the government will use domestic capacities and has also taken ... measures to purchase vaccines from countries that have already developed safe ones,” Rouhani said, according to state media.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said earlier that four Iranian companies were developing coronavirus vaccines, two of which were expected to be authorised within days to carry out clinical trials, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Iran registered a record 13,721 new COVID-19 cases and a near-record 483 deaths in the past 24 hours, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV earlier on Tuesday. The new figures took the cumulative total of cases to 880,542 and the total death toll to 45,738.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones and Alex Richardson

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