As new opportunities of production come into play, the BioNTech vaccine capacity allocated to Turkey will rise, said the health minister on Thursday.

“We discussed the latest planning on the arrival of the BioNTech vaccine to our country with Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin [the co-founder of BioNTech] and his team,” Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

“At our meeting, we also discussed how we can increase the number of vaccine doses allocated to us. As the new opportunities of production come into play, the [vaccine] capacity allocated to Turkey will increase,” he added.

In December, the minister announced that the country would purchase up to 30 million doses of the vaccine developed by Germany-based firm BioNTech.

Turkey also planned to receive a total of 50 million doses of China’s SinoVac vaccine in the first months of the year, according to earlier statements.

As of Thursday, Turkey had registered a total of 22,264 deaths due to the coronavirus, while over 2.17 million people have recovered from the disease. There are currently more than 2.29 million confirmed cases in the country.

The virus has claimed nearly 1.89 million lives in 191 countries and regions since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December last year, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Over 87.54 million people have been infected with the virus and more than 48.93 million recovered from the disease.

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