Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that next week Turkey will inoculate volunteers with a Turkish-developed COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is the last phase in its development as it has entered the human trials phase,” he added.
Koca also noted the studies currently being carried out to determine which vaccines can be mixed and matched if scientific research proves that a third dose is necessary.
Koca had earlier said that they planned to lower the eligibility age for vaccination to 20 by the end of June, though it seems a difficult goal. But most experts say the pandemic may recede in the autumn, with an intense inoculation drive throughout the summer. If the goal of vaccinating nearly 70% of the population can be achieved, the government plans to remove the mandatory mask rule outdoors in the autumn, according to media reports.
Before his announcement Wednesday, Koca said vaccinations for those aged 45 and up would start Thursday before the country begins vaccinating citizens aged 40 and above the following Monday, speeding up the vaccination drive launched in January. Despite the accelerated inoculation campaign, vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaxxers remain a problem for Turkey in its fight against the coronavirus, making the country consider drastic measures.