ANKARA, Turkey Turkish authorities have given the green light for emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Chinas Sinovac Biotech Ltd. Wednesday, paving the way for the deployment of the turkey vaccination program starting with health workers and other health workers at high risk groups.
The country’s health minister and members of the country’s scientific advisory board received the first plans live on television, shortly after the health regulatory authority, the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, announced that it has given its approval for the emergency use of CoronaVacs in the land of 83 million.
I had already said that there was light at the end of the tunnel, Koca said upon receiving the first dose of the vaccine, which will be given in two doses. I believe the days ahead will be bright.
Koca said the turkey vaccination program would start on Thursday, starting with health workers. He urged all citizens to get vaccinated, saying it was the most promising way to beat the pandemic.
The shots are said to have a QR code assigned to a person’s name in accordance with the Ankaras vaccination program and an online dating system.
The Sinovac vaccine has been tested in clinical trials in Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia, all of which have reported divergent efficacy rates.
In December, Turkish authorities announced an efficacy rate of 91.25% from an interim analysis of 29 cases in a trial with 7,371 volunteers. About 12,450 volunteers, including 1,500 health workers, are participating in late stage clinical trials.
This week, Indonesia, which has conducted its own phase III clinical trials of the vaccine with 1,620 volunteers, announced an efficacy rate of 65.3%.
The Brazils Instituto Butantan said last week that the vaccine was 78% effective in mild cases and 100% effective against severe and moderate infections based on 220 cases of COVID-19 from 13,000 volunteers.
The first shipment of Sinovac vaccine, consisting of 3 million doses, arrived in Turkey at the end of last month. Turkey is expected to receive a total of 50 million doses.
Turkey had also previously announced that it had agreed to procure 4.5 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, with an option to procure an additional 30 million doses later, although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said on Monday that discussions with BioNTech were ongoing.
Turkey has reported around 2.34 million infections and around 23,000 deaths.
The country has imposed weekend closures and evening curfews to tackle the surge in cases.
Associated Press writer Zeynep Bilginsoy contributed to this report from Istanbul.
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