Vaccines to be administered in two doses, 28 days apart, says health minister
Turkey will administer the novel coronavirus vaccines brought from China in two doses and 28 days apart, the country’s health minister has said.
The first batch of the 3 million doses of the Chinese firm Sinovac’s vaccine arrived in the capital Ankara on Dec. 30.
“Taking into account the fact that the spread of the outbreak has slowed, it was deemed appropriate to administer the injection in two doses, 28 days apart,” Fahrettin Koca wrote in a statement on Twitter on Dec. 30 after a virtually held meeting of the Health Ministry’s Science Board.
The analysis of the contents of the shipment from China has 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.
Healthcare staff and nursing homes will be the first to receive the vaccines, Koca added.
He added that authorities are planning to administer vaccines at family health centers, public, private, and university hospitals.
“In this process, the vaccines will be distributed to provincial warehouses with specially designed ministry vehicles that have climatization features,” Koca 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.
People will be able to get vaccinated by making an appointment with family practitioners and private and public hospitals following a notification by authorities, according to the minister.
Vaccinations will not be mandatory for now, and Turkey aims to convince the public about the necessity of the vaccination against the coronavirus, making mass vaccination possible.
Koca previously said that Turkey would be receiving 50 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine and that the first 20 million doses would be delivered during December and January 2021.
The minister also announced that the country will purchase up to 30 million doses of another vaccine developed by the German-based biotech firm BioNTech.