Some 5 mln people skipped their third dose, says minister

Some 5 mln people skipped their third dose, says minister

Some 5 mln people skipped their third dose, says minister

Some 5 million people who have already received two doses of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccines have skipped their third shot, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said, urging them to get the booster shot as soon as possible.

Turkey is presently using both the mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and the Chinese company Sinovac’s inactivated vaccine in its inoculation drive.

The country started the vaccination program in mid-January with the Sinovac vaccine and later added the Pfizer/BioNTech jab to its arsenal.

Nearly 11 million people have been given the third dose of the jab.

“It is already time for 5 million people to get the third dose, and even some of them are weeks late. There are people among this group who are being treated in hospitals [for COVID-19]. We insist the recipients of two doses of the inactivated jab get the third shot, which provides protection,” Koca wrote on Twitter on Oct. 19.

Turkey is also working to develop its own vaccine, called Turkovac.

As the Phase 3 human trials of the local vaccine candidate continue, health professionals are already giving Turkovac jabs as the third booster shot.

The jab is given to volunteers aged between 18 to 59 who have received two doses of Sinovac and have not caught the coronavirus yet.

The country’s inoculation drive, which saw record daily shots of over 1 million doses in several days in June, July and August, has recently lost steam.

Around 200,000 to 300,000 doses of the vaccine have been given over the past weeks. Officials are complaining particularly about young people’s complacent behavior. Koca recently revealed that only 54 percent of those aged between 18 and 25 are fully vaccinated.