Minister of Health Dr Ali Pilli said that supplies will come from both from Turkey and southern Cyprus.
Pilli said that he is liaising with his counterpart in Turkey Fahrettin Koca regarding how many doses will be required, as a supply of a vaccine produced in China is expected from 11 December.
Stating that a total of 1.2 million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be sent to southern Cyprus on different dates from January, Pilli said that approximately 400,000 thousand doses of the vaccine will be supplied to North Cyprus via the Bi-communal Health Committee.
Who Will Be First To Receive The Vaccine?
Health Minister Pilli said that the vaccine will be administered first to healthcare workers at risk and citizens over the age of 65 and people with chronic health conditions. Following this, the rest of the community will be able to have the vaccine, he said.
Facilities For Storing Vaccines
Emphasising that the vaccines that will be sent to southern Cyprus are produced with RNA technology and can be stored at -70 C for 6 months, Co-Chair of the Bi-Communal Health Committee Cenk Soydan told ‘Kibris Postasi’ that:
“Currently, there is only one storage facility in the TRNC that can offer storage at -70 C. This is in the Microbiology Laboratory at Nicosia State Hospital. Other units can reach -25 degrees C. However, there is no clear answer as to how long vaccines can be stored at -25 degrees Celsius“.
Turkish Vaccine Supplies
Turkey’s Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, said there were three different sources of supply.
He announced that he had signed a contract with the Chinese company Sinovac for 10 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine, and that negotiations with companies for Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, including 1 million doses in December, and then 25 million doses of vaccine, were ongoing.
Health Minister Koca said the first part of the contract for Sinovac vaccine is expected to arrive from Turkey after December 11.