Turkey offering extra Pfizer shots for those wanting to travel

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Turkey is allowing people who were inoculated with Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine to take an additional Pfizer dose as it looks to ease travel to countries that have not approved the Chinese shot, the health ministry said on Monday.

Turkey has administered 83 million vaccines against COVID-19, mainly Sinovac’s Coronavac and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In the first weeks, it was exclusively using the Chinese vaccine, which has not been approved in some Western countries.

Last month, authorities started giving a third dose to health workers and people aged over 50, as studies showed that the antibodies triggered by Sinovac’s vaccine decline after around six months.

More than six million of those booster doses have been administered, and the ministry said on Monday that people who had been given a booster dose of Pfizer could receive a second Pfizer shot if needed for travel.

The ministry also said it was starting to inoculate people over 15 and that children over 12 with chronic illnesses would also be eligible. 

Photo: A handout photo made available by the Turkish Health Ministry shows a dose fo Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19 at the Ankara City hospital in Ankara, Turkey. EPA-EFE/TURKISH HEALTH MINISTRY HANDOUT

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