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Turkey to vaccinate 2.5 million against COVID-19

Turkey to vaccinate 2.5 million against COVID-19

The human trials of vaccines developed by China, and with U.S.-German partnership are underway in Turkey, which also aims to start trials for its own vaccine within weeks.

The country has charted a road map for vaccination of the masses. If the trials prove successful, the country plans to inoculate 2.5 million people with the CoronaVac, developed by China’s Sinovac in the first stage, according to the media.

Health care workers, members of law enforcement and people working in crowded places will be prioritized for the first mass vaccination, which is scheduled for early 2021.

Five million doses of vaccines will be obtained from China for two doses for 2.5 million people. CoronaVac was the first foreign vaccine to launch Phase 3 trials in Turkey in September. Thousands of volunteers have received it since.

Earlier in September, a vaccine developed by U.S.-based Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech also launched human trials in Turkey. The trials have gone smoothly so far and it has been found to develop 98% antibodies in volunteer recipients.

After health care and law enforcement workers, the China-made vaccine will be administered to the youth. Senior citizens are low on the priority list as the vaccine has not been tested on those 65 and above as yet.

On Oct. 20, the authorities announced that a locally made vaccine was also set for human trials within weeks. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced earlier that Turkey was closer to human trials for three vaccines, out of a total of 13 under development.

Turkish scientists are also working on 10 projects for the development of drugs against the deadly disease. Media reports say two vaccines developed by Erciyes University in the central province of Kayseri and another by the private pharmaceuticals company, Koçak Farma, were close to human trials.