Turkey acquiring 50 million Sputnik V vaccines to expedite vaccination programme

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Monday announced that the country would expedite its vaccination programme with the aim of inoculating those above the age of 40 and above by the end of June and the 18 and above by the end of summer.

Turkey is set to acquire 50 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia over the next months, as well as 90 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab,T24 news site cited Koca as saying  at a press conference in northwestern Edirne province.

Turkey has procured  240 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date, 100 million of which are the Chinese Sinovac, Koca said.

The country’s top health official last month said that vaccines would be scarce in the upcoming two months, but added that the shortfall should in time be overcome with the new procurements and ultimately Turkey’s own vaccine.

Turkey has until now been using vaccines developed by Sinovac and Pfizer and BioNTech, carrying out 22 million inoculations, with 13.55 million people having received a first dose, according to ministry data from last week.

The country last week entered a 17-day nationwide lockdown after infections soared over 60,000 in recent weeks.