Rise in new COVID cases making pandemic harder to control, says health minister
With the number of daily infections across the country soaring over 16,000, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has warned that the rise in new coronavirus cases is making it difficult to bring the pandemic under control.
Koca called on Turkish people once again to comply with the measures and get vaccinated, noting that compromising virus measures without gaining immunity with vaccinations can cause painful experiences.
According to data from the Health Ministry, nearly 40 million people have received their first dose since Turkey rolled out its vaccination program on Jan. 14, corresponding to approximately 63 percent of the population aged 18 and above.
The country has administered more than 68.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in total.
Meanwhile, experts are concerned about ongoing vaccine hesitancy among people who have refused to get vaccinated even though their turn has come.
Health professionals explained why some people were distant from the COVID-19 jabs in Turkey where the number of people who have not yet been vaccinated is nearly 22 million.
Many people in the country have anti-vaccine ideas, and they cast doubt on the people even though their statements have no scientific basis, according to Sema Kultufan Turan, a member of the Coronavirus Science Board.
Necmettin Ünal, an academic and anesthesiologist from Ankara University, also noted that the anti-vaccination movement was a critical issue, pointing out that this problem should be resolved.
“First of all, it is necessary to clearly state the intention of those people who harm public health with unscientific, illegal and immoral statements,” Ünal said, noting that many of them were against vaccinations in order to gain benefits, increase their popularity, expand their customer profile or market non-pharmaceutical substances.
Levent Akın, a member of the Coronavirus Science Board, also stated that some of those who were distant from vaccinations were under the influence of conspiracy theories.
Ünal stated that people believed in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories that said vaccines caused infertility, that a chip was being implanted in the human body with a jab, that foreign spies were involved in the vaccination drive or that the brains of those who were vaccinated were damaged.
Pointing out the necessity of considering those who do not want to get vaccinated in two categories, Tevfik Özlü, a member of the Coronavirus Science Board member, said there was categorical opposition to vaccination on the one hand, and a lack of confidence in the vaccine on the other hand in Turkey.
But Özlü also stated that the number of vaccine opponents who believe in conspiracy theories was not as high in the country.