Turkey will administer inactive novel coronavirus vaccines in two doses, 28 days apart, the country's health minister said Wednesday.
Health care staff and nursing homes will be the first to receive the vaccines, Fahrettin Koca wrote in a statement on Twitter after a virtual meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board.
He added that authorities are planning to administer vaccines at family health centers and public, private and university hospitals.
A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 airplane carrying the first shipment consisting of 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s SinoVac Biotech landed at the Esenboğa Airport in the capital Ankara early Wednesday.
Vaccinations will not be mandatory for now, and Turkey aims to convince the public about the necessity of getting the jab against the coronavirus, making mass vaccination possible.
Turkey on Wednesday reported 15,692 more infections and 254 new fatalities from the coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.
The new cases included 2,612 symptomatic patients, according to Health Ministry data. The tally of infections exceeded 2.19 million, while the death toll climbed to 20,642.
As many as 20,192 people recovered, taking the total to over 2.07 million.
A total of 184,415 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country over the past day, pushing the overall count to over 24.3 million.
The number of patients in critical condition stands at 4,098, the latest figures showed.
The figures reported on Tuesday were 253 deaths and 15,805 additional infections.
Koca said on Twitter that the number of patients in critical condition and intensive care patients continues to drop.
“I hope to see the reflection of this situation on our losses in the near future,” he added.
Turkey has been implementing a curfew on weeknights and full weekend curfews since Dec. 5 as part of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed around 1.8 million lives in 191 countries and regions since it originated in China last December.
Over 82.23 million cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 46.52 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S., India and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.
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