TEHERAN – A Kuwaiti doctor praises Iran’s success in making coronavirus vaccines and says it represents one of the major scientific breakthroughs in recent years.
“The accomplishment of Iran and Cuba in making COVID vaccines, which are among the countries sanctioned by the United States and the West, is one of the major scientific breakthroughs in recent years,” Issam al-Salih told the Tehran Times.
“This is good news for the peoples of the region who have looked at the global monopoly of science,” he notes.
Below is the text of the interview:
Q: The leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has received a dose of Iran’s first locally developed COVID-19 vaccine. How do you read this step?
A: Iran’s success in making a COVID vaccine is a great scientific achievement for Iranians.
Despite economic, political and technological embargoes, Iran is considered one of the eight countries that have developed an infrastructure for this vaccine, which is a glimmer of hope for Muslims and West Asian citizens. This is an achievement that we as people of the region are proud of, especially since Iran is a neighbor of Kuwait and other Arab countries.
It has received a lot of echo at the regional level, despite attempts by the cynics to underestimate this wonderful achievement.
This move conveyed a message to the world about Iran’s achievements, showing the Supreme Leader’s full confidence in the skills of young Iranian experts and scholars.
Q: How do you rate the steps taken by countries, particularly countries like Iran and Cuba, that have tried to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines? Does the developing world need such an effort while the developed countries are way ahead in the field of medicine?
A: The performance of Iran and Cuba in making COVID vaccines, which are among the countries sanctioned by the United States and the West, is one of the major scientific breakthroughs in recent years.
It’s good news for the people of the region who considered the global monopoly of science.
In medicine and vaccine manufacturing technology in particular, we face a monopoly of large international companies such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
There is no doubt that the national will is able to counteract the Western embargo and generate the necessary drive towards independence and the pursuit of knowledge. Necessity makes us inventive.
The blockade has helped deny these two countries access to medicines and clinical and health facilities. Unfortunately, even during the coronavirus pandemic, political differences play a major role in the lack of help and medical care.
I have also accompanied the Iranian-Cuban alliance in the production of a common vaccine and showed us the importance of solidarity, the fight against despair and trust in national and local resources. These sciences are no longer in the monopoly of America and Europe, and those vaccines that are now in high demand worldwide will not be monopolized if Iran and Cuba provide sufficient quantities of vaccine to their populations despite the sanctions.
There is no doubt that Iran will help the peoples of neighboring countries who are trying to get rid of the pandemic. In my opinion they are on the right track and history will capture that.
I heard about the Barekat vaccine from Iranian company Shifa Pharmed Industrial Co as I heard about vaccines from other companies like the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute.
There is another vaccine from a company affiliated with the Iranian Ministry of Defense so I am delighted to hear about these successes and it also comes with the announcement of the manufacture of two vaccines, the Abdala vaccine and the Soberana02 vaccine .
It reminds us of their level of development, their collaboration and their trust in local skills. We congratulate them on this achievement, which indicates the failure of the sanctions and sieges.
Q: Why, despite the capacities in the Arab world, have we not seen an Arab initiative in the field of vaccine production?
A: Unfortunately, the governments of Arab countries and health authorities lack confidence in the skills of their scientists and their scientific resources. It is really unfortunate that these geniuses have not taken any real initiative, and we in the Arab countries have many options, but there is no political and administrative will to take this on. It is unacceptable that Cuba, a small country on an island in the Caribbean Gulf, can produce two different vaccines while 22 Arab states, for example, fail to work together or join forces to produce a common vaccine.
Our health security should not depend on foreign countries. Thats really sad.
Q: What did the world learn from the Corona experience? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
A: The global corona pandemic is a reminder that people are still weak and at risk of pandemics, no matter how much we develop financially, and that if we don’t pull together and work on improving the health system, there is a risk of epidemics .
We need to investigate the causes of the spread of the coronavirus to make sure it does not repeat itself and be ready to share industrial, medical and scientific experiences.
We also need to review what happened and shed light on the source of the pandemic. The best way to prevent its spread in the future is to take precautions and use the experience and skills to ensure the national health security of each country
The corona crisis has an impact on jobs, social contacts, world trade, studies and travel routines.
Q: What are the latest developments regarding the spread of the coronavirus in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf countries?
A: Kuwait has been exposed to the corona virus since the end of February 2020 and a partial and total ban has been issued several times.
The Kuwaiti government has invested all the skills and potential of the medical and administrative staff.
Currently, we are considered one of the countries that managed to partially contain the pandemic when the problem worsened at certain hotspots where people arrived from abroad and then shifted to hotspots among citizens who had to work and trade.
As a result, airports, ports and border points have been opened, causing the entry of some infected cases, including the Indian mutant Delta, a fast-spreading virus that causes serious infections.
Some still do not believe in the procedures being taken by the Ministry of Health, but the number of corona cases has fluctuated between 1500 and 1900 per day for weeks, and the death toll has only been around 1920 since the pandemic hit Kuwait.
However, through campaigns, about 66% of the population were vaccinated, with about 325,000 people infected. This is generally acceptable.
Kuwait has imported western vaccines, including Oxford and Pfizer, and we hope for those who wish to use other vaccines and platforms, such as the Iranian, Chinese and Russian vaccines, especially those who are familiar with conspiracy theories and the uncertainty of some vaccines believe. like Oxford. Maybe that will strengthen their confidence.
First and foremost, the vaccine is a means of preventing the disease from spreading. In general, there is nothing wrong with the way the government is handling the pandemic and we are striving for more realism and determination and in the end we wish all people security and the end of this crisis forever.