Some 32 percent of Turkey’s population given booster shots

Some 32 percent of Turkey’s population given booster shots

Some 32 percent of Turkey’s population given booster shots

Only 32 percent of Turkey’s population has received booster shots, while experts say people should be encouraged to get their third dose to develop herd immunity against COVID-19.

Around 39 percent of people aged above 12 have received their third dose.

At the start of March, 62 percent of the population was given at least two doses of the vaccine and around 76 percent of the country’s citizens aged above 12 were double jabbed.

Experts suggest Turkey, like many other countries, is also embracing the strategy to achieve herd immunity, which may occur if enough people are vaccinated or had the disease.

Yet, they reckon for this plan to succeed, the vaccination rate for booster shots should increase from its current level.

Experts stress that people should be encouraged to especially get their booster shots.

Data from the Health Ministry show that since the start of the inoculation drive in January last year, Turkey has administered more than 146 million doses of the vaccine.

Some 53 million people aged 18 and above, or 85 percent of the adult population, have been double jabbed, while around 58 million have received at least one dose of the shot.

Moreover, 27 million adults have been given their third dose of the vaccine.

Improvement expected this summer

Officials argue that the Omicron variant of COVID-19, known to be less severe, somehow offers an opportunity to reach herd immunity, adding that tough measures, such as lockdowns imposed in the past, caused other problems. Experts believe the pandemic will further weaken within the next couple of months.

They are optimistic that with the vaccinations and the use of drugs against the virus, the country will be able to take a sigh of relief from the pandemic this summer but warns unless a more contagious virus strain emerges.

They underline that the new phase in the fight against the pandemic will be the one in which people should be chiefly responsible for taking necessary precautions on their own so as not to impose rules on the whole nation.

“They need to have face masks with them all the time to put them on when needed and observe social distancing. From now on, citizens should take the initiative to protect themselves,” experts said.

Officials also note that the COVID-19 positivity rate dropped below 10 percent, while the number of active cases has been on the decline in the past 20 days, voicing optimism that the pandemic situation may further improve in the weeks to come.

Coronavirus has infected nearly 14 million people since the first case was reported in the country in March 2020. Around 93,000 have lost their lives since then due to the coronavirus.