Number of jabs administered surpasses 110 million doses
Since the start of the vaccination program in mid-January, some 45 million people aged 18 and above have been given two doses of the shot against the coronavirus while more than 54 million people, which correspond to 87 percent of the adult population, have received at least two doses of the vaccine.
Additionally, close to 11 million people have been given the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In terms of the number of vaccine doses administered Turkey ranked first in Europe and ranked seventh in the world. Among the first six places in the list are vaccine-producing countries with large populations such as China and the U.S,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter, praising the country’s success in the inoculation drive.
The minister, however, voiced concerns over the high daily number of COVID-19 cases reported and likely challenges in the months ahead.
“It is becoming more difficult to fight against the pandemic in winter. People spend more time in closed spaces and interaction between individuals increase. Using face masks is now even more crucial,” Koca said, once again calling on the public to get vaccinated.
Experts have been warning that most of the people admitted to hospitals or receiving COVID treatment for severe cases in intensive care units are unvaccinated. They also stress that people have become increasingly more complacent about COVID, ignoring the basic rules of social distancing and wearing face masks.
Professor Ayşe Özcan, who is in charge of the COVID intensive care unit (ICU) at the Ankara Training and Research Hospital, confirmed those concerns.
“We have been at capacity over the past three to four months. However, in the past one and a half nearly half of the patients admitted to the ICU are those who are unvaccinated and the other half are the elderly people and those who have not received their third doses,” she said.