Iran reports 11,561 new Covid-19 cases, 1,040,547 in total. Image Source: IANS News

Tehran, April 17 : Some officials in the Iranian city of Abadan pushed their way to the front of a Covid-19 vaccination programme, prompting criticism on Saturday.

They were given vaccines that were originally intended for waste collection workers, reports dpa news agency.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki has demanded immediate dismissals and legal action against all officials involved in the scandal, according to local media reports.

According to the reports, some high-ranking officials even dressed like rubbish collection workers to get the jab.

The municipality argues that the officials only wanted to make the employees less fearful of the vaccination.

Vaccinations are off to a slow start in Iran, a country of 83 million that is in an economic crisis because of US sanctions.

That is why only 2 million doses of vaccine have been imported from China, Russia and India so far.

For the time being, priority for vaccination is given to doctors, nursing staff, people in care homes and waste collection workers.

On Friday, 6 million doses of the Sputnik V were ordered from Russia, but it is unclear when they will arrive in Iran.

It is also unclear when the locally developed vaccines, which are still in the testing phase, can be used.

Mass vaccinations are scheduled to begin in mid-September.

In the meantime, the fourth coronavirus wave has broken out in Iran. The numbers of victims and new cases are rising dramatically.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health again recorded over 320 deaths and more than 25,000 new infections.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic almost 14 months ago, more than 66,000 people have died in Iran, and almost 2.2 million have been confirmed infected with the virus.

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