BioNTech in final negotiations with Ankara for COVID-19 vaccines, CEO says

The creators of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech are in the final stages of negotiations with Ankara for a supply of shots, the daily Hürriyet reported on Dec. 22. BioNTech CEO Prof. Uğur Şahin said that they've been meeting with Turkey for months and that he hopes to ink a deal before the end of the year.

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The creators of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, BioNTech is in the final stages of negotiation with Ankara to supply the shots, BioNTech CEO Prof. Uğur Şahin told the daily Hürriyet on Dec. 22.

"We've been meeting with Turkey for months, we would have already signed by now if it were up to me," the researcher said. "My only hope is that we sign for Turkey's vaccine supply by the end of the year."

Responding to concerns that Turkey lacks the infrastructure needed to store the vaccination at -70 degrees Celsius, Şahin said he didn't think this would be an issue. 

"Vaccination doses have been transported with dry ice for almost 50 years. This is not cutting edge technology of the day. There are companies who can maintain the coolers in Turkey," Şahin said, pointing to dry ice transporting businesses. 

The researcher said he feels responsible for the Turkish people's support behind BioNTech, but that it also makes him feel proud.