Some 1.3 mln doses of jabs given in one day

Some 1.3 mln doses of jabs given in one day

Some 1.3 mln doses of jabs given in one day

Turkey administered nearly 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in a single day, in a sign that the country’s inoculation drive remains on fast track.

“The cases will decline as the number of people who receive at least two doses of the vaccine rises,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, while noting that more than 19 million people still were missing their vaccination appointments.

The number of jabs administered has been above 1 million doses for some time.

Since the start of the inoculation program in mid-January, more than 82 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Turkey.

Well above 43 million have been given their first doses which correspond to nearly 70 percent of the population aged 18 and above.

More than 32 million people have been fully vaccinated, over 51 percent of the adult population. Moreover, close to 6.5 million people have received a third dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, despite the high-speed vaccinations, the weekly coronavirus data released by the Health Ministry show that infections increased in a number of provinces.

The number of cases per 100,000 people rose between July 31 and Aug. 6 in 71 provinces, including the country’s three largest cities Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, while only four provinces saw declines in new COVID-19 infections.

The Black Sea province of Rize, eastern province of Batman, southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Black Sea province of Artvin and eastern province of Bingöl registered the highest weekly increases.

In Istanbul, the number of cases per 100,000 people rose to 182.2 from nearly 169 in July 24-July 30, while in Ankara the cases climbed to around 185 from 165.

In İzmir, the country’s third largest city by population, the number of cases per 100,000 increased to 66 from 43.

Koca, who provided the weekly data, once again took to Twitter to renew calls on people to get their shots against the deadly virus.

Even though they saw a spike in cases, the country’s three largest cities have high vaccination rates among their adult population. In İzmir, nearly 78 percent of the locals have received the first dose, while in the capital this figure is 77 percent. In Istanbul, at least 69 percent of the adult population have been given the first dose of the jab.

Meanwhile, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said on Aug. 13 that the phase 2 trial of Turkey’s domestic virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine has concluded successfully.

“To date, we have not seen any side effects. We are planning to launch phase 3 trials in September,” Varank said, adding that more volunteers will be needed in this phase.