Turkish Health Minister receives Chinese Covid jab

Updated January 14, 2021

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Ankara, Jan 14 (IANS) Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca received the Chinese COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine along with the country's other advisory science council members.

They received the first shots on live television on Wednesday shortly after the vaccine was granted emergency authorization in Turkey, reports Xinhua news agency.

Turkey will begin mass vaccination on Thursday, starting with health workers, Koca told reporters.

He called on all citizens to get vaccinated, saying "now there is a light at the end of the tunnel".

Vaccination of senior leaders of the country will set an example for the citizens, he added.

People who will be vaccinated in accordance with the procurement plan will be notified when it is their turn and will go to get their vaccination by appointment, the Minister said.

Turkey on Wednesday started handing out appointments for health staff to be vaccinated primarily.

The Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency said that it had authorized the emergency use of the vaccine, known as CoronaVac, following tests that lasted for 14 days.

"While evaluating the scientific data, samples that were delivered to our country have been examined in our institution's laboratories over 14 days," said the agency.

Turkey reported on Wednesday 9,554 new Covid-19 cases, increasing the total number of positive cases in the country to 2,355,839.

The death toll from the virus rose by 173 to 23,325, while the total recoveries climbed to 2,227,927.

Turkey had reported its first Covid-19 case on March 11, 2020.

The first batch of 3 million doses of CoronaVac arrived in Ankara on December 30, 2020.

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