Turkey administers daily record number of vaccines
A record number of 750,000 people in Turkey have made appointments for June 14 to receive a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine as nearly 25 percent of the country’s population have already been given their first dose of the coronavirus jab.
The previous record of daily vaccinations was on June 11 at 600,000 doses. Over the weekend a little more than 900,000 doses were administered in the country.
Last week alone, over 3 million coronavirus vaccine doses were administered.
“Some 750,000 people will probably have their best day since March 11, 2020,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter on June 14, referring to the day Turkey registered the first COVID-19 case.
According to data from the Health Ministry, Turkey has administered nearly 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine since it rolled out the inoculation drive in mid-January, including first doses to nearly one-fourth of Turkey’s population of some 83.6 million.
More than 20 million people have gotten their first doses, while nearly 13.7 million have been fully vaccinated, according to ministry data.
As the vaccination drive is gaining momentum, the daily number of cases continues to decline, particularly after the partial lockdown, which was imposed from April 29 to May 17 after the daily infections hit above 60,000 in mid-April.
Since May 20, the number of daily virus cases has remained below 10,000 and last week they were hovering around at 6,000.
“The outbreak has receded significantly, and the day it will be beaten is too close,” Koca tweeted on June 13, noting that some 5,000 cases were registered.
Meanwhile, experts are cautiously optimistic that Turkey may return to a normal life soon only if the country manages to further accelerate the vaccinations.
“Should we increase the number of daily inoculations to 1 million, such a move will also help prevent the emergence of a virus variant specific to Turkey,” said Professor Necmettin Ünal from Ankara University.
Depending on the immunization rate among the public, the COVID-19-related restrictions will be definitely eased down the road, Ünal noted, however, warning that the loosening of the face mask and social distancing rules should not be rushed.
“The impact of the acceleration in the vaccination will become more visible within the next few months, we will see new cases and hospitalizations decline significantly,” said Professor Barış Otlu, the head of the Turkish Society of Microbiology.
In line with the improvement in the pandemic outlook, life will gradually return to normal, Otlu added.