Child vaccination rate in Turkey increases 2 percent

Child vaccination rate in Turkey increases 2 percent

Child vaccination rate in Turkey increases 2 percent

The vaccination rate of children in Turkey increased to 98 percent in 2019 with an annual increase of 2 percent, the country’s health minister has said, vowing to increase the figure even further with locally-produced vaccines.

“Vaccination is a must. We shouldn’t have any hesitation about that … Refusal of vaccination has no scientific base,” he told state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 8.

Contrary to the worldwide vaccine rejection tendencies, the rate of children vaccinated in Turkey increased from 96 percent in 2018 to 98 percent last year, he said, stressing that vaccination is vital in protecting children from diseases, and it is a right for children and a responsibility for parents.

“We know that vaccination rate below 95 percent poses a significant risk. In this sense, there’s no risk in Turkey now. I think that debates on the refusal of vaccination will diminish with indigenization and naturalization in [the production of] vaccines,” said Koca, adding that important steps will be taken this year in a bid to start producing vaccines locally in a period of five years.

“I would like to remind that although some citizens think that the protection of vaccines is permanent, the second phase of vaccination should definitely also be carried out at school age,” he added.

Fahrettin Koca,