Turkey's President says extra 10 million doses of Chinese vaccine due

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that a further 10 million doses of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine could arrive in Turkey this weekend.

Delivery of a second batch of the vaccine had been approved by China, the president told reporters in Istanbul.

Turkey has received its first shipment of three million doses of China's Sinovac vaccine in late December after interim data from a late-stage trial has shown the vaccine is 91.25 percent effective against COVID-19.

Since they've rolled out the vaccination campaign on January 14, more than 1 million people have been vaccinated, most of whom are health workers and elderly people.

Turkey's vaccine program coordinator Tarkan Mustafa Yamanoglu said it was easier to carry out rapid vaccinations with CoronaVac than some other shots requiring much colder storage.

Sinovac's Phase III clinical trials in the country started on September 14 and have included more than 7,000 volunteers. The results announced recently were based on data from 1,322 people.

Turkish researchers said on December 24 that no major side-effects were seen during their trial, apart from one person who had an allergic reaction. Common adverse effects caused by the vaccine were fever, mild pain, and slight fatigue.

Currently, Turkey has reported about 24,000 deaths and more than 2.4 million COVID-19 infections since March, some of the highest figures in the Middle East. 

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