Turkey, plane from China with the coronavirus vaccine

Turkey to receive 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine

Turkey plans to receive 100 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine by the end of April, and has also acquired the one from Pfizer.

Up to 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac could receive Turkey by the end of April, according to the Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, while the number of Turkish citizens who have already received the second dose of the vaccine is approaching 800,000 without noticeable adverse effects, according to Turkish health authorities.

“We will have 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of April, according to the agreement we have reached with Sinovac,” Koca explained in statements made to the Turkish daily Hürriyet. The first 3 million doses of the vaccine arrived in Turkey on December 30, and a second shipment of another 10 million doses was subsequently approved.

To date, more than 4.6 million people in Turkey – who wants to have 13 million people vaccinated in March – have received the first dose of Sinovac’s vaccine against COVID-19, mainly healthcare workers and those over 65 years, and about 777,000 people have already been inoculated with the second dose. According to the Turkish experts consulted, none of the people inoculated with this vaccine have suffered serious side effects.

When asked about the arrival of the first doses of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine in Turkey, the minister explained that he trusts the agreement reached with one of the vaccine developers, Uğur Şahin, born in Germany but son of Turkish immigrants. “We have received guarantees from the manufacturing company and Uğur Şahin to (receive) a total of 5 million doses, and we have already signed (the contract),” said Koca, despite acknowledging that there are problems due to delays in the production and distribution of vaccines all over the world.

Turkey, unable to purchase AstraZeneca vaccine

Regarding the purchase of doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca / Oxford, initially considered one of the most attractive due to its low cost, the Minister of Health pointed out that there are also problems with regard to the distribution and accessibility of this vaccine, which for the region that includes Turkey must be bought through the Russian firm that produces Sputnik V vaccine “and they still don’t have it, not even for Russia,” he said.

Koca stressed however that vaccination plans continue apace and that the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed in Turkey could begin to be administered next fall. Despite the fact that the number of coronavirus cases in the country remains around 7,000-8,000 positives per day, the minister insisted that he is concerned about the transmission rate of some strains that are more contagious, such as the British or South African.