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Turkey signs 50 mln dose COVID-19 vaccine deal, health minister says

ISTANBUL, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Turkey has signed a contract to buy 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.

“We have signed a contract for 50 million doses of vaccines to be delivered in the months of December, January and February,” Koca told a news conference.

Sinovac’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response, but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the virus, preliminary trial results showed.

CoronaVac and four other experimental vaccines developed in China are in late-stage trials to determine their effectiveness.

Speaking in Ankara after a coronavirus science council meeting, Koca said Turkey is also in talks with other vaccine developers.

“The important thing here for us to start using vaccines which are known to be effective and reliable ... I think the vaccination calendar could start on Dec. 11,” Koca also said. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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