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Turkey to start giving Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine soon

In addition to SinoVac and BioNTech vaccines, Sputnik V to be administered in Turkey, says health minister

Turkey will begin administering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine soon, said the nation’s health minister on Thursday.

The coronavirus infection rate has dropped nationwide, Fahrettin Koca said following the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting via video link.

Koca said it was agreed at the meeting that restrictions against the coronavirus could be tightened, if the number of cases did not decrease in the coming days.

He said some citizens postponed vaccination as they were fasting in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but to cater to them post-iftar (fast-breaking meals) vaccination appointments were ensured.

Koca added that the Indian variant has not been detected in the country yet. However, measures have been taken against this fast-spreading variant.

“In this context, people who want to enter our country from India or have traveled via India will have to spend mandatory quarantine in designated [student] dormitories,” he said.

India on Thursday reported the highest daily coronavirus cases in the world since the start of the pandemic over 300,000.

He added that Turkey will start Phase 1 trials for its third vaccine candidate.

Another Turkish vaccine candidate, the first to start human trials, will soon complete Phase 2 trials, the health minister said, adding that its final trial will begin in May.

A locally-made vaccine means “domestic power and trust,” he said.

According to the official figures, Turkey has so far administered over 20.78 million coronavirus vaccine jabs across the country.

On Wednesday, Turkey reported over 61,900 new coronavirus cases, according to the Health Ministry.


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