Over 80 percent of adult population double jabbed
A little more than 80 percent of people aged 18 and above have been given two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Turkey, but some provinces are still lagging behind in the jab drive, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.
Nearly 50 million adults in the country have been double jabbed since the country started vaccinating people against the coronavirus in January.
According to data from the Health Ministry, another 56 million adults have been given at least one dose of the COVID-19 shot.
In a tweet on Nov. 15, Koca singled out the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, as the province has the lowest fully vaccinated adult population rate at 55 percent.
“We are calling on the people of Şanlıurfa to take faster steps in the fight against the pandemic,” Koca wrote.
Other provinces in the region, such as Diyarbakır which has a sizable population, Mardin, Batman, Siirt as wells as the eastern provinces of Bingöl, Muş and Bitlis are also all lagging behind in the vaccination program compared with other provinces in the country.
For instance, the vaccination rates are as high as 84 percent in the Black Sea province of Ordu, more than 79 percent in the southern province of Mersin, nearly 79 percent in Ankara and over 81 percent in the western province of İzmir, the country’s third largest city. In Istanbul, the vaccination rate is above 73 percent.
This week Koca pleaded with the people, who have received their jabs, living in the low vaccinated provinces to help authorities speed up the jab drive by persuading the unvaccinated to get their jabs.
“If we manage to increase the number of fully vaccinated above the 75 percent of the population, we can only then take control of the pandemic,” said Professor Alper Şener from the Health Ministry’s Science Board, which advises the government on COVID-19.
He noted that based on the current numbers, around 58 percent of the country’s whole population have been fully vaccinated, adding that it is very important for people to get the second and the booster doses of the jab to bring the disease under control. “Otherwise next year we would be still busy talking about the pandemic.”
To date, more than 11 million people have received their booster shots.
Şener also warned the number of daily infections appear to be stable but this could be misleading. “The cases may suddenly spike, we still need to be very careful about following the basic anti-virus rules, such as social distancing, hygiene and wearing face masks,” he said.