Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca made a statement at the press conference held after the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting. Uğur Şahin, the founding partner of BioNTech firm, also attended the meeting via video conferencing method.
Before making a promise to Uğur Şahin, who connects with the video conferencing method, Minister Koca said, “Today, we especially want you to hear some of the views of our teacher Uğur himself. Uğur Hocam, we made our first contract on December 27, and we had meetings that started 3 months before that, and we had calls almost twice a week during this period. You have made great efforts. First of all, starting from 2 million to 1 million, then optionally, 4,5 million, then 30 million, then 60 million and lastly 90 million doses have been signed with your intense effort, effort and effort ”.
Minister Fahrettin Koca then gave the floor to Şahin to explain the procurement phase of the agreement. Expressing his pleasure to attend the meeting, Şahin emphasized that they have been in constant communication with Minister Koca since December regarding the delivery of BioNTech vaccines to Turkey.
Stating that he was happy that the agreement was signed to deliver a total of 120 million doses of BioNTech vaccine to Turkey, Şahin said, “We want to bring 30 million doses to Turkey by the end of June. "We want to complete 120 million doses in July, August and September." Stating that the teams have been working intensively on this issue for the last two weeks, Şahin said, "With the permission of Allah, we will bring the vaccines to Turkey on time".
Thanks to Şahin, Minister Koca said, “120 million out of 6,1 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to us so far. "A total of 30 million vaccines will come to Turkey in 4 months, 120 million in June, until the end of July, August and September."
"We will learn more in the coming weeks"
Minister Koca asked Uğur Şahin for his views on the effect of BioNTech vaccine on mutations, the amount of dose to be applied to those who had the disease, and when the third doses of those who had two doses of vaccine should be administered. Stating that they tried the vaccine in more than 30 virus variants and showed an effect against mutations, Şahin said, “This week we also tested the Indian mutation. Against the Indian variant, our vaccine has an effect of 25-30 percent. We expect 70-75 percent infection protection from this effect. We will learn more in the coming weeks, ”he said.
Uğur Şahin also said that, according to the studies, high levels of antibodies were seen after a single dose of vaccine in those who had the disease before, but the studies are still ongoing.
"It may be used together with Emergency Use Approval (AKO) in September."
Evaluating the latest situation in the domestic vaccine, Minister Koca said, “As you know about the domestic vaccine, the Phase-2 study is over. I also think that Phase-3 will start in the next 2 weeks, that is, at the beginning of June. We think we can move on to Phase-3 at the beginning of June. Apart from that, as you know, we have 3 more vaccines. Of those 3 vaccines, 2 are inactive, 1 is VLP vaccine, and there they are in Phase-1 phase. I think the results of the Phase-2 study will be seen there in the next 3 or 1 weeks, and if they are successful, the transition to Phase-2 will begin to pass gradually. With Phase-3, our first vaccine is started at the beginning of June and if these processes are completed successfully, it may be used with Emergency Use Approval (AKO) in September ”.
"The vaccination rate has reached up to 65 percent over the age of 84"
“We are now over the age of 55. Apart from that, we continue to vaccinate risky groups, ”said Minister Koca,“ Moving down rapidly; Before the age of 50, with the next 45 million doses of vaccine in 40, 30, 20 and June, we want to go down if the supply continues, if there is no problem. The vaccination rate has reached up to 65 percent over the age of 84 in total, and we want it to be 90 percent and over ”.
Making a statement on how to vaccinate those who have survived the disease and how to apply the 3rd dose, the reminder vaccine, Minister Koca said, “We will not have a choice in this regard. We will be in an effort to convince our citizens more. Especially with regard to the additional dose, a booster dose is recommended at least 9 months after the Biontech vaccine, that is, in 2022. For people who have had the disease, there is an opinion that a booster dose should be made after 6 months. This can be in the form of a single dose when necessary and a double dose when necessary, ”he said.
"We want to return this period to normal by making widespread vaccination"
Asked what kind of a life will be achieved after gradual normalization, Koca said, “In the next period, we have a number of cases that have fallen to less than 10 thousand from today. With the full closure, this drop is a significant drop. It has descended from 63 thousand to 9 thousand 385 today. Therefore, we should not lose this gain in the next period. All our citizens now know how this virus is transmitted. Therefore, we want to return this period to normal by making widespread vaccination, which reduces the bans more but intensifies the personal protective measures in the next period. The recommendation of the Scientific Committee on this issue will be shaped next week ”.