Turkey to produce Russian virus vaccine Sputnik V

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Turkish pharmaceuticals company Viscoran İlaç and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have agreed to cooperate on the production of the coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V in Turkey.

Viscoran has carried out necessary studies for localization of the product to date and aims to launch the product in the country in the upcoming months at several facilities, the RDIF said in a statement on April 26.

As part of the agreement with RDIF, Viscoran İlaç provides assistance in establishing partnerships with other leading local pharmaceutical producers.

Technology transfer is currently being finalized with Turkish company CinnaGen İlaç, while negotiations with two other production facilities are in process in order to increase the overall capacity, the statement added.

Sputnik V, which demonstrated efficacy of 97.6 percent, has been registered in 61 countries globally, covering a total population of over 3 billion people, according to the RDIF.

Last week, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Turkey would soon begin administering the Russian vaccine.

Meanwhile, on April 26, Kazakhstani Health Minister Alexei Tsoi said the government was negotiating with partners in Turkey to produce future batches of a vaccine that Kazakhstan domestically developed.

On April 26, the Central Asian county rolled out its homegrown coronavirus vaccine, QazCovid-in, also known as QazVac.

It is a two-shot vaccine that is currently in third-stage trials.

Turkey is also carrying out studies on several vaccines against COVID-19, including one in the form of nasal spray.

The country started its vaccination program on Jan. 14, administering jabs developed by the Chinese pharmaceuticals company Sinovac. Recently, it also began inoculating the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine jabs.

Turkey is conducting the inoculation program in four stages. In the first stage, frontline health workers and the elderly received their vaccines.

Last week, the country expanded the scope of vaccinations by adding people aged between 55 and 59 to the inoculation program.

People from this age group can choose between the Chinese vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech. Both vaccines are administered in two doses.

As soon as the Health Ministry opened appointments for this age group, people formed long lines in front of hospitals to get their first dose of the vaccine.

Turkey has administered more than 21.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date. Nearly 13.3 million people have received their first dose, while another 8.1 million people have received both their doses.

Hurriyet Daily News

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