coronavirus vaccine by Pfizer - Biontech

Turkey to start vaccination with Pfizer in the coming days

The Turkish government maintains that vaccination is voluntary and that people can choose which vaccine to receive.

Turkey will start vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the coming days, as announced yesterday by the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who in statements to journalists in Ankara assured that Turkish citizens will not only have the freedom to decide if they want to be vaccinated, but they will also be able to choose with which vaccine to do it.

Speaking to reporters in the Turkish parliament, the minister explained that Turkey has so far received 2.8 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer – developed by the German company BioNTech, founded by a couple of Turkish immigrants – and that in about 10 days the total number of doses will amount to 4.5 million.

Koca warned however that despite the start of vaccination in January with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, infections are soaring and variants such as the one from UK have already become the dominant strain in the country, to the point of representing 75% of the new cases. “We have to stay away from closed and crowded places … because mutations are spreading,” said the minister.

Asked about whether people will be able to choose between the Sinovac vaccine or the Pfizer vaccine, Koca underlined that those who do not want to receive the latter will be able to opt for the Sinovac vaccine once their vaccination turn arrives; furthermore, he recalled that vaccination continues to be voluntary, since it is not possible to administer it without prior written consent from the patient.

Infections in Turkey beat their record since the start of the pandemic

With more than 10% of its population vaccinated with at least one dose, Turkey ranks 10th globally by proportion of its population vaccinated, only behind Israel, the United Kingdom, Chile, Bahrain, the United States, Hungary, Serbia , Uruguay and Germany.

The start of the vaccination campaign with Pfizer could bring some relief to Turkey, which in recent days has seen the number of infections grow exponentially. Yesterday, the minister himself announced 37,303 new positives in just 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.