Jab drive still slow in dozens of cities, says minister 

Jab drive still slow in dozens of cities, says minister 

Jab drive still slow in dozens of cities, says minister

There are more than 40 provinces in Turkey where the vaccination drive is moving slow, the country’s health minister has said, urging once again people to get their vaccines against COVID-19.

Experts are complaining that young people and those who need the third dose of the coronavirus shot are not responding to calls from authorities to get vaccinated. It is estimated that there are around 3 million people in the country, who have had two doses of the injections but skipped the booster shot. 

“The inoculation drive is slow in 42 provinces where less than 75 of the population is fully vaccinated,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a tweet. The provinces where at least 75 percent of the population are double jabbed are considered “safe.” 

Calls from experts and top officials for people to get vaccinated have become more frequent as the number of daily cases has plateaued at high levels. 

Daily infections, which dropped to as low as 5,000 during June and July, have been on the rise, particularly since mid-September, hovering at and above 30,000 while the daily death toll from the pandemic is around 200.

However, since most of the new cases are among young people, the recent rise in the cases is not overwhelming the country’s health system. But experts note that young people who tend to ignore basic anti-virus rules, such as social distancing and wearing face masks, are spreading the virus and this is posing risks to the elderly. They say it has become “the pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Well over 48 million people - or more than 78 percent of Turkey’s population aged 18 and above - have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines and 55 million - or 89 percent of the country’s adults - have been given at least one dose of the jab. Moreover, a little over 11 million people have received their third doses.