coronavirus, COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey agrees with Russia to purchase 50 million doses of Sputnik V

Russia will supply 50 million vaccines in 6 months to Turkey, which has decided to extend the deadline for the 2nd dose of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Turkey announced on Wednesday the signing of an agreement with Russia for the purchase of 50 million doses of the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus Sputnik V, which will also be produced in the country, coinciding with the beginning of a total lockdown in the country before the escalation of infections by new strains of the virus.

“We are in the last phase of the emergency authorisation for the use of the Sputnik V vaccine, and we have reached an agreement for its supply. Turkey has signed an agreement to receive 50 million doses in the next six months,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in a televised speech, noting that the first doses are scheduled to arrive as early as May.

Koca added that Turkey has decided to extend the period between the first and second doses of BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine from 4 weeks to 6 or 8 weeks, in order to have more doses to vaccinate the population. “Vaccine supplies are becoming more difficult for the next two months, but we are confident that they will be more abundant afterwards,” the minister said.

The announcement of the agreement between Turkey and Russia for the purchase of 50 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine comes a few days after earlier this week the Russian Direct Investment Fund confirmed the signing of an agreement with a Turkish pharmaceutical company to mass-produce the Russian vaccine – which is more than 97% efficient – in Turkey, through a technology transfer agreement.