ANKARA

Samples of the CoronaVac vaccine brought to Turkey’s capital last week, are under tests in the Health Ministry labs for emergency use approvals, said the ministry on Tuesday.

The samples of the vaccine, developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, which were brought on Dec. 30, 2020, are tested in accordance with the routine quality control processes applied all over the world, it said in a statement.

Analyses are underway to check the expected quality, effectiveness, and reliability of the vaccine when it is stored and applied under conditions defined by the company throughout its shelf life, the statement added.

If it passes at least 14-day-long tests, the vaccine will be put into use following an “Emergency Use Approval” by Turkey Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Institution, according to the ministry.

The institution’s labs, known as the National Control Laboratories, are recognized and accredited by international equivalent institutions and organizations.

All vaccines listed in the ministry’s vaccination program, along with medical biological products, medicines, enteral nutrition products and medical foods, medical devices, biocidal products and cosmetics, are tested in these labs.

Healthcare staff and nursing homes will be the first to receive the vaccines, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Turkey on Monday confirmed 13,695 new cases, including 1,508 symptomatic patients, raising the tally of infections to over 2.25 million.

The country’s COVID-19 death toll currently stands at 21,685.

* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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