Turkey surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations


The number of people in Turkey who received their first injection of CoronaVac, an imported inactive vaccine, reached 2.08 million on Monday. Health care workers were the first to be vaccinated on January 14.

Elderly citizens are currently being vaccinated in hospitals and clinics across the country while teams from the Ministry of Health visit the homes of those who cannot make it to their designated vaccination location.

The country received 3 million doses of CoronaVac, developed by Chinese company Sinovac, on December 30 and a second shipment last month. The vaccines were analyzed in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health and received authorization for emergency use. They were then distributed to 81 provinces in trucks equipped with cold chain storage devices to ensure their safety from deterioration.

The age limit is gradually lowered depending on the vaccination plan. People aged 75 and over started being vaccinated on January 28 and that age will be lowered as more jabs are administered. The health ministry has set up immunization rooms in all neighborhood hospitals and clinics across the country and appointments are required, online or through a ministry hotline, to avoid overcrowding.

CoronaVac was the first vaccine imported by Turkey. The government plans to acquire more Sinovac and is in talks with other companies to acquire more vaccines.

Turkey continues to create national vaccines, none of which are inactive because they are easier to develop. They should be available for approval and then used later this year. Three Turkish vaccine candidates are expected to begin phase trials soon. Turkey has the third-highest number of COVID-19 vaccine projects in the world, behind the United States and China, according to authorities, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking at an event in the capital Ankara on January 26, President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan stressed that although most developed countries face shortages and Turkey is receiving COVID-19 vaccines and making progress in its public vaccination campaign. Turkey has had few problems during a period in which even the most prosperous countries faced heart-wrenching problems, ErdoÄŸan said. “Thanks to the measures we have taken with the vaccine (COVID-19) and the payments we have made, we have started to get our vaccines quickly, and we hope that 50 million doses of the vaccine will arrive in our country in the first phase, ”he added.

More than 25,000 people have lost their lives coronavirus disease since March in the country. The number of daily cases in Turkey hovers around 6,000. Authorities note a substantial drop in new cases, which is associated with tighter restrictions. Since November, a partial lockdown has been in place over the weekend and an additional 9 p.m. curfew was added afterwards in addition to other measures.

Although the vaccination program has gone well so far, experts warn the public should comply with the measures even after the vaccination campaign ends. Masks are still mandatory in public while police regularly inspect the scene to warn citizens of social distancing. People who do not wear masks or maintain social distancing are subject to fines. The government also closed restaurants, cafes and other potentially overcrowded places earlier, although they are allowed to offer take-out services. Schools briefly opened in September, but were closed again before the end of the first semester.

The fear of the mutated virus

Like other countries, Turkey has its fair share of anti-vaccines and vaccine skeptics. YeÅŸim TaÅŸova, a member of the Ministry of Health’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, said rumors that the vaccine is “ineffective” can only be seen in a small group of people with poor response to vaccination. She warns that the vaccine will only work if people continue to adhere to measures against the epidemic, at least for a while.

“If a person is infected with the virus after vaccination, it is more likely a mutated virus,” she said. TaÅŸova was referring to new strains of the virus that have emerged in the UK and South Africa. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced last week that 128 citizens were infected with the mutated coronavirus and that there were cases of the “British variant” in 17 cities. The last case was found in the district of Edremit in the eastern province of Van. Authorities said on Monday that the infected person, who recently returned from Serbia, was in quarantine, along with his five family members.

TaÅŸova told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Monday that the cause of vaccine failure may be different, but it is common for a minority of people to react negatively to the vaccine. “The same applies, for example, to hepatitis vaccines. Your body may not respond to them and your antibody levels may deteriorate over time. We have to wait and see if the antibody levels increase. when they encounter the same microorganism again. Until then, care should be taken. People who have received their vaccine should continue to wash their hands, wear their masks and avoid crowded environments. have mild cases of infection among those who have been vaccinated. Thus, self-protection should continue even after the first dose, “she urged.

A second dose of vaccine will be given after four weeks. Experts say the interval is necessary for the body to develop a better immune response, especially for inactive vaccines. TaÅŸova said there is a risk of infection during this interval, but most likely it is from a mutated virus.


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