Turkey has started administering the Covid-19 jab produced by Chinese company Sinovac as the nation kicks off its inoculation program against the virus, which has killed more than 23,000 people in the country.
Following the televised vaccination of Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Wednesday evening, Turkish authorities started administering the Sinovac jab to healthcare workers on Thursday.
Healthcare workers, who book appointments online, were monitored for a short period of time after the jab and will be given a second dose in 28 days.
Koca took to Twitter to congratulate the authorities for the getting the vaccine out to so many people so quickly, adding that more than 100,000 had already been vaccinated and sharing a link to a live counter. A further 70,000 healthcare workers had been vaccinated in the hour after he tweeted.
Turkey has ordered 50 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac but so far has only received 3 million doses. The government is also exploring procuring vaccines from Russia as well as the shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
On Tuesday, Brazilian researchers raised concerns about the efficacy of the Sinovac jab after trials suggested it was only 50.4 percent effective.
However, on Wednesday, the chairman of Sinovac, Yin Weidong, told journalists that CoronaVac jab was 100-percent effective in preventing severe Covid-19 cases, as he sought to correct researchers involved in the Brazilian trial.
Early research from Sinovac’s trial in Turkey suggested the vaccine was 91.25 percent effective but the data was only based of interim analysis of 29 cases.
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