coronavirus vaccine, Pfizer

Turkey agrees to buy 30 million doses of Pfizer vaccine

The agreement includes the delivery until March of 4.5 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

Turkey has reached an agreement with BioNTech-Pfizer for the purchase of 30 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in a message published late Friday on Twitter.

According to the minister, Turkey will initially receive 550,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are already ready for shipment, and until the end of March 2021 it will obtain a total of 4.5 million doses. “Under our agreement, up to 30 million doses will be delivered to us under the same conditions,” he said.

Koca also provided details on the reasons for the delay in signing the agreement between Turkey and the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer: “They did not accept any responsibility regarding possible problems that could arise in production.” In this regard, the minister thanked the German professor of Turkish origin Uğur Şahin, co-founder of BioNTech and discoverer of the vaccine together with his wife Özlem Türeci, also descent of Turkish immigrants.

Turkey thanks the founder of BioNTech

Professor Şahin tried very hard to remove the obstacles that prevented the signing of the agreement. The fact that he granted that privilege to Turkey will not be forgotten. I would like to thank him on behalf of our nation once again,” said Koca, who also confirmed that the vaccine will be voluntary and citizens will be asked for their explicit consent.

Turkey had previously signed a contract to acquire the Chinese vaccine from Sinovac Biotech, which it has started to supply to its health personnel, and expects to have 50 million people vaccinated before the summer, for which it was also negotiating with BioNTech-Pfizer; however, Koca had previously pointed out that one of the obstacles to an agreement was that Pfizer gave a deadline for the end of 2021, something that Turkey considered unacceptable.

Including Turkey, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer together with the German BioNTech has already been licensed for use in almost fifty countries, including the United States, the UK and the European Union.