6.5 million doses of Chinese vaccine arrive in Turkey

Turkey on Monday received 6.5 million further doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by China's Sinovac Biotech, allowing its nationwide rollout to continue, Daily Sabah reports.

An initial consignment of 3 million doses of CoronaVac previously arrived in Turkey and it has so far vaccinated 1.25 million people, mostly health workers and elderly people, according to Health Ministry data.

The latest shipment, part of a second consignment which will total 10 million doses, arrived at Istanbul Airport early in the morning on a Turkish Airlines flight from Beijing.

About 600,000 people were vaccinated in just two days when the vaccine rollout began in mid-January, but the pace later slowed as it moved beyond health care workers.

The Health Ministry will test the new shipment, which medics say takes around two weeks, before the vaccines are administered. That means Turkey would be constrained to around 100,000 inoculations per day for the next two weeks.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and other eligible top officials have already received their first shots of the Sinovac vaccine.

Turkey has recorded more than 2.4 million infections and 25,073 deaths due to COVID-19. A rise in cases over recent months led the government to introduce weekend lockdowns since December but daily cases have dropped to below 6,000 in recent days, from a high of more than 33,000 in early December.


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