vaccine, vaccination

Turkey to start coronavirus vaccination on December 11

Turkey has purchased 50 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine and will purchase 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Turkey plans to start vaccination against the coronavirus in the coming days and as early as December 11, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced late on Tuesday, adding that the first to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 will be healthcare workers.

“At least 10 million, but probably about 20 million doses of the (Chinese) vaccine will be received in December, along with 20 million doses in January and another 10 million in February,” Koca announced answering questions from journalists in Ankara, confirming that health workers will receive the first doses on December 11.

Turkey has reached an agreement with the Chinese company based in Beijing Sinovac Biotech to acquire 50 million doses of its vaccine, which has shown positive results without causing side effects, and is negotiating the purchase of other vaccines such as the German-American Pfizer-BioNtech , of which it could acquire 25 million doses. Part of the phase III human trials of the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccines have been carried out in Turkey.

In addition, the efforts of scientists in Turkey continue to create a Turkish vaccine against the coronavirus, which has already started human tests and that if everything goes according to plan could be ready in April, as announced yesterday by the Minister of Health. Koca also explained that the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Council is developing a vaccination plan, and that in a week it will be known who will be the first to be vaccinated.

Given the increase in coronavirus infections, the government of Turkey recently announced new restrictions, the closure of several facilities, and the extension of curfews from 9 at night to 5 in the morning also to weekdays. In addition, gatherings of family and friends at home, including during New Year’s celebrations, are prohibited, while some experts already advocate a 4-day curfew from December 31 to reduce mobility and infections.