Therapy Areas: Vaccines
Turkey commences COVID-19 vaccination programme by administering China's Sinovac injection to health workers
14 January 2021 -

Reuters news agency reported on Thursday that Turkey began administering the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac to health workers on 14 January 2021, as the country rolls out a nationwide vaccination programme against COVID-19.

Reportedly, at a research hospital in the city of Istanbul, 30 clinics were set up to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Health workers, who booked appointments online, were given a first dose and monitored for a short time before leaving. A second dose will be given 28 days later.

According to Surgeon General Nurettin Yiyit, the hospital could vaccinate around 1,800 people per day and that its 3,500 staff, including nurses and janitors, could be vaccinated in two days.

Health workers will be vaccinated in a few days and the process will move onto the next group, which includes those aged over 65.

This will reportedly be followed by people older than 50 and suffering a chronic illness, plus some in specific sectors or high-risk environments. A third group includes young adults and other categories, with a fourth group covering the rest.

According to Reuters, Turkey has ordered 50 million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac and has received three million. It is in talks for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, as well as the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. In addition, it is working to develop one domestically.

So far, Turkey has reported over 2.3 million COVID-19 infections since March 2020 and still reports around 10,000 new cases and 170 deaths each day after a month of weekend lockdowns and nightly curfews.