Tehran thieves attack car, steal Covid shots

TEHRAN: The police chief for Iran’s capital says a gang of thieves has robbed scores of COVID-19 vaccines after attacking a hired car carrying the doses, media reported.

The robbery comes as Iran, with over 106,000 virus-related deaths, has the highest death toll in the Mideast but only 8% of its people are fully vaccinated.

Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi said robbers attacked and seized 300 vaccines after a courier service left a Health Ministry medical storage facility south of the capital.

He did not say which vaccine was stolen. Iran generally uses the Chinese-made Sinopharm, although it also has used some Russian made Sputnik-V, AstraZeneca and its own domestic CovBarekat vaccine.

On Sunday, Iran registered 581 daily deaths and more than 31,000 new cases. Last week on Tuesday, Iran hit a record of 709 patients dying in a single day. The country is struggling through a fifth wave of the disease driven by the highly contagious delta variant. - AP