Turkey starts using Chinese vaccine

Turkey has started a mass Covid-19 vaccination program, with a vaccine developed by a Chinese firm.

Turkey has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with its total number of infections exceeding 2.3 million, the 7th largest in the world.

The Turkish government announced on Wednesday that it had granted emergency use authorization for the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was then vaccinated live on television. He said, "For us to return to our old lives, we absolutely need to get the vaccine."

The government said vaccinations would start on Thursday, beginning with healthcare workers and people aged 65 or older.

Turkey has put in place night-time curfews throughout the week, with a full lockdown at weekends.

The Turkish government is in talks for the purchase of another vaccine that is jointly made by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech.