Iran says 44 million fully vaccinated, half its population

Iran says it has now fully vaccinated 44 million people, which is more than half of its population of 85 million

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran announced Saturday it has now fully vaccinated 44 million people, more than half of its population of 85 million. The country has been hit the worst by the pandemic in the Middle East.

The government also noted that the daily death toll numbers have been decreasing in recent months, something Iranian experts attribute to vaccination. The highest single daily death toll was on Aug. 24, with 709 fatalities.

Authorities have been warning that more surges of the virus are expected; the latest came in August, fueled by the contagious delta variant. Less than half the population in Iran follows measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

Due to the positive trends, President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday lifted nighttime traffic restrictions on private cars, which were previously banned from the streets from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Iran generally uses the China-made Sinopharm vaccine, though the Russian Sputnik-V and the vaccine made by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are also in use.

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