TEHRAN, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Iran on Monday kicked off the final stage of the clinical trial of its domestic COVID-19 vaccine COV-Iran Barekat as two volunteers were inoculated, semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
"Phase 1 was successfully completed with 56 volunteers, and today phases 2 and 3 of the clinical trial begin," director of the clinical trial center at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) Hamed Hosseini told a public event.
The receivers were two lecturers at TUMS, cardiologist Sina Moradvand, and infectious disease specialist Mehrnaz Rasoulinejad.
As of Monday, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran rose to 61,330, after the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Sciences Sima Sadat Lari announced 100 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours.
At her daily briefing, Sadat Lari also noted 7,980 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed between Sunday and Monday, raising Iran's total infections to 1,754,933, the ministry's official website reported.
Of the newly infected, 963 had to be hospitalized, according to the spokeswoman.
So far 1,499,301 COVID-19 patients have recovered or been released from Iranian hospitals, but 3,839 others remain in critical condition, she added.