Iran Detects Its First Omicron Case

TEHRAN (AP) – Iran has detected its first case of infection with the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, state television reported Sunday.

The announcement comes as the variant spreads around the world less than a month after scientists alerted the World Health Organization about the new strain.

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Iran has vaccinated 60% of its population of approximately 85 million people with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The coronavirus has killed more than 131,000 people in Iran, the worst death rate in the Middle East. On August 24 alone, 709 people died from the disease. The number of deaths has decreased in recent months due to vaccination, experts say.

Iran accelerated the vaccination campaign in recent weeks. More than 50 million Iranians have received their second doses and 3.5 million have received their booster.

Only 7 million Iranians had received vaccinations when President Ebrahin Raisi formed his administration in late August.

Iran generally uses the Sinopharm vaccine made in China, although it also uses the Russian Sputnik-V and the one made by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Iranian authorities have urged people already fully vaccinated to receive their third dose as soon as possible.

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