With the arrival of the latest batch in Turkey on Wednesday, there are 1.4 million doses of BioNTech coronavirus vaccine ready for use in the country, the nation’s health minister said.
“Today [on Wednesday], over 700,000 doses of BioNTech vaccine have also arrived in our country. So we have received nearly 1.4 million doses of vaccine ready for use,” Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.
He said Turkey received around 750,000 doses on Tuesday and recalled that 5,800 doses of BioNTech vaccine arrived last week to be used for tests.
“This vaccine will be used for the first time in our country. The vaccine will be administered in each center with appropriate storage conditions,” Koca said.
He said the vaccines will be administered in Turkey starting next week after safety tests are completed.
The pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which was founded by Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin — a couple who are both children of Turkish immigrants in Germany — in 2008, managed to develop the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine together with its US partner Pfizer.
BioNTech aims to produce a total of 2 billion doses of the vaccine this year at six production facilities in various countries.
Since Turkey began a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, it has administered over 14.13 million vaccine jabs, according to official figures.
Over 8.15 million people have received their first doses, while nearly 6 million people have completed a two-dose course with China’s Sinovac vaccine.