Turkey has signed a deal for 50 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine that will start arriving next month and should help address a short-term fall in supply, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.
Vaccines will be scarce in the upcoming two months, Koca said, but the shortfall should in time be overcome with the new procurements and ultimately by production in Turkey.
“We are at the last stage for Sputnik V vaccine emergency use authorization,” Koca said in a televised speech. “Turkey signed a deal to receive 50 million doses within six months.”
Turkey has until now been using COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd and by Pfizer and BioNTech. It has carried out 22 million inoculations, with 13.55 million people having received a first dose.
On Monday, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said a Turkish pharmaceutical firms would also produce Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine at its plants.
As of June, Turkey has also decided to administer the two doses of BioNTech vaccine at six- to eight-week intervals versus the previous gap of 28 days, Koca said.