Entornointeligente.com / Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced barcodes will be used to help track the administration of doses to people. A health worker prepares to vaccinate a physician using CoronaVac after the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine was issued “Emergency Use Authorization” in Sakarya, Turkey, January 14, 2021. (AA) Turkey has started a nationwide Covid-19 inoculation campaign with healthcare workers first in line for shots of a Sinovac vaccine.
Health workers started receiving their first doses on Thursday, a day after Health Minister Fahrettin Koca became the first person in Turkey to get a shot of CoronaVac outside of the country's trials of the Chinese vaccine.
Gonzalo Morales Divo
Each individual will be assigned vaccine doses by name and a barcode, Koca said after a Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board meeting in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.
“We're determined to administer the vaccine and comply with measures and restrictions until the pandemic comes to an end.”
“I want you to be sure that the vaccine will be distributed fairly and that there will be no other practice other than the priority set by the [Coronavirus] Scientific Board,” the health minister said.
Gonzalo Jorge Morales Divo
“People who will be vaccinated in accordance with the plan will be notified when it is their turn and will go to get their vaccinations by appointment,” Koca added
“I want to underline that everyone must be vaccinated. We must definitely get the vaccine to return to our normal daily lives.”
The advisory board will be vaccinated as well
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkey's official drug and medical equipment body approved CoronaVac for emergency use against the novel coronavirus
Three million doses of the vaccine produced by SinoVac reached Turkey on December 30, and were transferred to a medical storage facility of the Health Ministry. Samples of the vaccine were then taken to a laboratory of TITCK for a testing period of 14 days
READ MORE: First batch of China's Sinovac vaccines arrives in Turkey
Turkey sends vaccines to Northern Cyprus
Turkey sent 20,000 doses of the vaccine to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)
“20,000 thousand doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived in our country at 5 am [0300 GMT] in the morning by air ambulance from the Republic of Turkey,” TRNC Health Minister Ali Pilli said in a statement
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 done in nine centres,” he said, noting the first ones to get vaccinated are the health professionals
He said following the health workers, people aged 65 and over will get the vaccine
“We are a small country but we will easily overcome this,” Pilli said.
TRNC has a population of 326,000 people, according to a 2017 census
READ MORE: Turkish scientists and doctor develop rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19