Referring to the unfairness over the world's access to the coronavirus vaccine, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the global injustice, which is becoming more evident during the pandemic, has taken a much dire turn with the issue of immunisation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a statement as he attends the
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a statement as he attends the "Economic Reforms Introductory Meeting" at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey on March 12, 2021. (AA)

Turkey plans to offer its domestic vaccine to all humanity under the most appropriate conditions when the work on the vaccine is completed, the nation’s president has said.

The vaccine issue has taken a dire turn, nearly 100 countries have no access to the Covid-19 vaccine yet, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his video message, addressing the meeting of Financing for Development in the Era of Covid-19 and Beyond held by the United Nations with the participation of heads of state and government.

The Covid-19 outbreak has once again revealed the distortions in the global system that we have expressed on almost every platform, he underlined.

Referring to the unfairness over the access to the vaccine, Erdogan said the injustice, becoming more evident during the pandemic, has taken a much dire turn with the issue of vaccination.

Alarming issue

While there are countries that have vaccinated almost all their citizens, billions of people are not able to access even the first dose of the vaccine, he stressed, adding this is an alarming issue for humanity and human values.

The global outbreak, which caught even the richest countries of the world unprepared, caused serious destruction, especially in underdeveloped countries, he added.

But it is clear that the pandemic will not end and economic recovery will not occur without ensuring fair access to the vaccine, he said.

Countries reaching the number of doses that can vaccinate their citizens should deliver their excess vaccines to countries in need, Erdogan underlined.

READ MORE: Germany honors Turkish-Germans behind Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

BioNTech vaccine roll-out in Turkey

Meanwhile, Turkey's Health Minister on Tuesday said the country will likely start administering the BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in the next few days.

Speaking to reporters in parliament, Fahrettin Koca said Turkey has so far received 2.8 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine – developed by second-generation Turkish immigrants in Germany – with the total set to reach 4.5 million in about 10 days.

On a cautionary note, Koca added that Covid-19 mutations are spreading throughout Turkey, and now make up some 75 percent of new cases.

"We need to stay away from closed, crowded environments and especially close contact in this period because the Covid-19 mutations are spreading,” he said, warning especially of the UK variant.

During the holy month of Ramadan starting in mid-April, special night prayers of Tarawih will be done using necessary measures, he stressed.

Impact of pandemic on global economy

It is also important that economic recovery is carried out with an understanding based on cooperation and solidarity rather than on "protectionist reflexes," Erdogan said.

We attach importance to alleviating the debt burden of low-income countries, together with the strengthening of liquidity opportunities, Erdogan noted.

The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative is an important step we have taken to minimize the effects of the pandemic, he said.

We see the benefit in extending the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the second time to cover the entire year of 2021, he added.

READ MORE: How Turkey plans to administer Covid-19 vaccines

Efforts for global solidarity

After a year into the pandemic, the Covid-19 outbreak has revealed that the destiny of all humanity is common in the face of global problems, Erdogan noted.

Turkey has endeavoured to strengthen global solidarity and international cooperation since the beginning of this struggle, he underlined.

With this understanding, we provided medical assistance and support to 157 countries and 12 international organisations, he stressed.

In particular, we did not leave our African brothers and sisters alone in these difficult days, Erdogan also said.

Turkey has made significant progress in developing indigenous Covid-19 vaccines. 

One candidate, developed by Turkey's Erciyes University, will enter Phase-3 trials by the end of April as the last volunteer will get the second dose on April 9, Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies