Turkey pledges 100 million COVID-19 vaccines as infections climb

100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive to Turkey by the end of May, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

“With these new jabs, the vaccination process of 50 million people will be completed,” Koca said, speaking after Thursday's coronavirus scientific advisory board meeting.

Over 8 million people have received a first dose of vaccine since Turkey began a mass roll-out in mid-January. Of those, a second dose has been administered to 6 million people.

However, COVID-19 cases in Turkey have spiked since the government gradually began easing restrictions at the beginning of March.

The number of confirmed daily cases rose to 28,731 on Thursday. The number of daily deaths rose to 157, the highest total since late January, according to health ministry data.

Turkey has also faced delays in acquiring the necessary number of jabs to cover its 82 million population.

But Koca said a further 1.4 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine had arrived in Turkey on Thursday, and the figure would reach 4. 5 million by the beginning of April.

The health ministry also has an option on a deal for 30 million doses with BioNTech, Koca said.

“As the production of the jab increases, we will get more vaccines.”