Turkey to start COVID-19 vaccination next week

Turkey to start COVID-19 vaccination next week
Date: 2.12.2020 12:00

Turkey plans to start administering vaccines against the novel coronavirus as soon as mid-December, the country’s health minister has said.

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“At least 10 million, but probably roughly 20 million doses [of the Chinese] vaccine would be procured in December, along with 20 million doses in January and another 10 million in February,” Fahrettin Koca told reporters on Dec. 1.
The Health Ministry’s Science Board is preparing plans to start vaccinating health workers after Dec. 11, he said. The phase-3 trials of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, which began on Sept. 15, are also ongoing. They include high-risk healthcare workers and medium-risk volunteers. Vaccines are being administered to volunteers at 25 centers across 12 provinces, with the overall test sample to total 12,450.
Turkey is also in talks to buy the candidate injection developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, Koca reiterated, adding that the country is willing to buy as much as this vaccine Pzifer/BioNTEch could supply to Turkey until April.
If everything goes to plan, Turkey’s own vaccine could be available in April, the minister said, noting that the phase one works of this jab is expected to be completed around Dec. 14 and the third phase trials may start in April.
As the number of COVID-19 cases has spiked, the government this week further tightened anti-virus measures, including weeknight curfews from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and full weekend lockdowns to stem the spread of the outbreak.


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