TEHRAN: More than half of Iran's population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the health ministry said on Saturday, as infection and death rates in the country have started to drop. More than 44.2 million of Iran's 83 million population have received two coronavirus vaccine doses since the country began its inoculation campaign in February, according to ministry figures.
Another 12.2 million people have received a single vaccine dose. The Islamic republic uses a number of vaccines, including the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab. Iran is battling the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. It has officially recorded over six million infections and almost 129,000 deaths.
Health authorities acknowledge the official figures underestimate the country's real toll. But its caseload has begun to decline, after Iran registered record numbers of infections and deaths in August. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered Saturday the lifting of a year-long night-time driving ban on private vehicles in urban areas.
On Thursday, the country reopened football stadiums to spectators at 30 percent capacity on a trial basis, local media said.