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Chinese vaccine shipment arrives in Turkey

A first batch of vaccines developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac has arrived in Turkey, after a two-week delay.

A plane carrying 3 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine landed in the capital Ankara early on Wednesday. The first shipment was initially scheduled to arrive on December 11 but Turkish officials said problems concerning permits, followed by a COVID-19 case in Beijing customs and high alert against infections there, caused the delay.

Turkey has signed a deal for 50 million doses of the vaccine, which the country says has an efficacy rate of 91.25 per cent based on early results of late-stage trials conducted in Turkey.

The vaccine will now be examined by two public health agencies before the government gives its formal approval for inoculations, starting with health care workers.

Turkey has also reached an agreement with Pfizer BioNTech, which is to provide 4.5 million doses of its vaccine until the end of March and the option to buy up to 30 million doses later in the year.

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