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Turkey announces details on COVID-19 vaccinations

Ankara to start by administering vaccines on healthcare staff, nursing homes, says Health Minister Fahrettin Koca

Burcu Calik Gocumlu and Mehmet Tosun   | 30.12.2020
Turkey announces details on COVID-19 vaccinations


Turkey will administer inactive novel coronavirus vaccines in two doses, 28 days apart, the country's minister of health said Wednesday.

Healthcare staff and nursing homes will be the first to receive the vaccines, Fahrettin Koca wrote in a statement on Twitter after a virtually held meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Committee.

He added that authorities are planning to administer vaccines at family health centers, public, private, and university hospitals.

Koca said Turkey would begin 2021, which the World Health Organization named the International Year of Health and Care Workers, by vaccinating healthcare workers in its first step towards transitioning to preventive measures against COVID-19.

He said the first batch of 3 million CoronaVac vaccine doses developed by the Chinese company SinoVac had been delivered to the Health Ministry after landing in the capital Ankara earlier on Wednesday.

Analysis of the shipment's contents have begun, Koca said, explaining that random dose samples had been sent to the laboratories of the country's public agency on drugs and medical devices.

He said that if the jab passes these tests, it could be approved for emergency use.

"In this process, the vaccines will be distributed to provincial warehouses with specially designed ministry vehicles that have climatization features," he said.

Koca underlined that authorities would digitally monitor how the vaccines are transported, administered and recorded, adding that the vaccine distribution and application results would also be shared live in real time.

Turkey on Wednesday reported 15,692 more infections including 2,612 symptomatic patients and 254 new fatalities from coronavirus over the past 24 hours.

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