The vaccine has begun to be administered at city hospitals across the country and it could be received as a booster shot.

Turkiye's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has urged citizens to get their booster shots.
Turkiye's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has urged citizens to get their booster shots. (Reuters)

Turkiye has begun administering its domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, Turkovac, at hospitals across the country.

The landmark vaccine’s rollout started on Thursday across the country’s signature city hospitals. 

It was developed in collaboration with Erciyes University in the Kayseri province and the Health Ministry's Health Institutes of Turkiye (TUSEB).

The country has already administered more than 130 million doses of vaccines using shots developed by China's Sinovac and by Pfizer/BioNTech. It also began administering booster shots.

Daily coronavirus cases jumped beyond 30,000 this week for the first time since October. New infections surged 30 percent on Monday and jumped further to beyond 36,000 on Wednesday, the highest daily figure since April 29.

With Turkovac, Turkiye joined the ranks of only nine countries that can produce a Covid-19 vaccine.

Turkiye announced last week that the indigenous Turkovac vaccine had been authorised for emergency use.

READ MORE: Turkiye’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use

Vaccine confidence 

Mehmet Ali Kizildag, whose first vaccination was Turkovac, said he was looking forward to getting the indigenous vaccine.

"We waited until today because we have a lot of trust in our Turkish doctors," Kizildag, 40, explained, adding, "Thank God we got our vaccine today."

Omer Lutfi Kiziloglak, 56, who chose Turkovac as a booster shot after getting two doses of the BioNTech vaccine, said he had been waiting for the indigenous vaccine for a long time.

"Because it's local, we have trust in it. Even though there are other vaccines available, I would recommend this to everyone," he added.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Wednesday said that it was possible to receive the booster shot with the domestic vaccine.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also vowed to make the vaccine available globally, saying it will be used to benefit all of humanity.

READ MORE: Turkey names homemade Covid-19 jab Turkovac – latest updates

Source: TRTWorld and agencies