New booster shot appointments opened, says ministry

New booster shot appointments opened, says ministry

ANKARA - Demirören News Agency
New booster shot appointments opened, says ministry

With COVID-19 numbers rising again, Health Ministry opened up booster shot appointments in an effort to increase dropping the number of infections.

One of BioNTech, Sinovac or Turkovac vaccines can be chosen for the booster shot, which will be the sixth dose for those aged 65 and over and also those in risky groups.

Those who had the BioNTech vaccine at least 6 months ago will be able to get the booster shot.

“We strongly recommend that those over 50 and in the high risk group should get the booster shot if 6 months have passed since their last vaccination.”

This group should especially protect themselves starting from the [Eid al-Adha] holiday when contact will increase,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, stating that COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant have increased.

“When six months have passed since the last dose, the effect of the vaccine start to decrease,” said Koca, noting that the virus has started to come to the fore again.

A total of 57,113 COVID-19 cases were reported and 25 COVID-19 patients lost their lives in Türkiye between June 27 and July 3, the Health Ministry said in its weekly coronavirus statistics.

Despite the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases recently, no one has come to get vaccinated for two-and-a-half months, said the experts, while reiterating that those who are not vaccinated at all or with a missing dose should get the booster shot.

While the rate of those who have received two doses of the jab is 85.5 percent across the country, failure to reach the desired level in the third dose is the biggest risk, according to the experts.

Appointments are scheduled weekly due to the decrease in the demand for the vaccine, an official in a private hospital in Istanbul said, noting that mRNA and inactivated vaccine appointments have opened up.

“With our workload increasing significantly in the last week, we see that the number of COVID-19 cases are increasing day-by-day,” said Serkan Özbakış, the head of the Association of the Family Physicians in Istanbul, adding that the sixth wave would be very tough.

Although we have Turkovac, BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines, the importance of getting vaccinated is neglected in our society, Özbakış said.

“A single vial contains vaccines for six people. When it is diluted, it should be used within six hours otherwise it goes to waste,” the expert said, adding that five is required for Turkovac.

“Even a 6-person appointment group has not been formed for two-and-a-half months, we sent a few of our citizens who wanted to be vaccinated to hospitals because we couldn’t open a single vial,” the expert added.

The expert also urged people to comply with the face mask mandate in health institutions. “If enough attention is not paid to masks and vaccines, a serious increase in cases and deaths is inevitable.”

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