Turkey has administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac to more than 1 million citizens who have received their first shots as of January 20, according to Turkey’s Health Ministry.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received his first dose of the vaccine in Ankara on Thursday and urged other politicians to endorse the program.
In just 7 days the first dose of the vaccine was given to health care professionals, Turkish authorities have now administered virus jabs to nearly 90,000 residents and people working in nursing homes and care facilities for the disabled, increasing the total number of vaccinated people across the country to 1 million.
Turkey has also been speaking with Russia regarding their Sputnik V vaccine, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.
“After a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Aleksey Yerhov, we evaluated our cooperation with them in the field of health, especially the Sputnik V vaccine,” Koca tweeted.
The Turkish government has said the rapid pace has been helped by a nationwide distribution of the vaccines at the start of the week, and also by digitized health records and hospital services.
Turkey has reported more than 2.3 million COVID-19 infections and 23,000 deaths since March. After a month of weekend lockdowns and nightly curfews, the number of daily cases has fallen below 9,000, with a daily death toll of 170.