Turkey sent 20,000 doses of a Chinese-developed COVID-19 vaccine to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), TRNC Health Minister Ali Pilli said Wednesday.
"Twenty thousand doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived in our country at 5 a.m. (3 a.m. GMT) ... by air ambulance from the Republic of Turkey," the minister said in a statement.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the arrival of the vaccines, Pilli said his country is planning to start vaccination on Thursday and Saturday.
"We have prepared our plan for vaccination; in the first phase, they will be carried out in nine centers," he said, noting the first ones to get vaccinated will be health professionals.
Following health workers, people aged 65 and over will be next in line to receive the vaccine, he said.
"We are a small country but we will easily overcome this," Pilli said.
Thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca for their support for the TRNC, Pilli said, "As always, Turkey is with us in the fight against COVID-19 as well."
Three million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine produced by Beijing-based company Sinovac reached Turkey on Dec. 30.
Turkey's vaccination campaign began Thursday, a day after the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TITCK) approved the emergency use of CoronaVac.
"Starting tomorrow (Thursday), all of our health personnel will start receiving vaccines. Our citizens will be able to track the progress of the vaccination campaign on our website. We aim to have a transparent process," Koca said Wednesday.
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