Moscow and Beijing seek to undermine public trust in Western vaccines while promoting their own jabs -- which have raised serious concerns over efficacy, quality control and transparency.
After more than a year of mishandling the pandemic and misinforming the public, Tehran is now forced to impose another lockdown.
The Iranian medical community is opposing the regime's decision to administer Russia's COVID-19 vaccine in Iran. Sputnik V is yet to be approved by the international community.
Beijing's spin took on more urgency in recent weeks as World Health Organisation (WHO) experts arrived in Wuhan to probe the origins of the coronavirus.
Beijing's history of secrecy, disinformation and delays raises concerns that the team of World Health Organisation specialists will find a cold trail more than a year after COVID-19 first emerged.
Iran's Supreme Leader banned the government from importing COVID-19 vaccines from the US and UK, revealing he prioritises political alliances over the Iranian public's health and interests.
The Chinese and Russian vaccines have not gone through transparent, vigorous, independently reviewed processes that guarantee people's safety, health officials say.
Hundreds of millions of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have a 95% and 94% efficacy rates respectively, are rolling out worldwide.
The United States has approved the sale of vaccines to Iran, but the regime is still finding new ways to blame US sanctions for its own shortcomings.
Beijing is on a global charm offensive, analysts say, but its 'vaccine diplomacy' is not without conditions.