Vaccine appointments in Turkey begin with health workers

Vaccine appointments in Turkey begin with health workers

Vaccine appointments in Turkey begin with health workers

Turkey’s more than 1 million health care service workers have begun to make appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations as the country is finalizing tests on the injections brought from China.

An online system to arrange vaccinations is already up and running but for the time being only health care staff are able to make appointments for the coronavirus jab.

The 182 hotline is also available to schedule the shots.

There are more than 1.1 million health care workers in Turkey who have been on the frontline for months in the fight against COVID-19, which has infected nearly 2.4 million people and killed more than 23,000 to date.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this week announced that the inoculation drive will start on Jan. 14 or Jan. 15.

Three million doses of the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac arrived in Turkey on Dec. 30, and upon their delivery samples of the injections were immediately taken to a laboratory of the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TİTCK) for a testing period of 14 days.

The vaccines will be dispatched to the country’s 81 provinces for the massive vaccination drive.

Vaccinations in the country will be conducted in four stages.

In the first stage, health care workers, people aged 65 and above, and adults living in crowded places such as shelters will be vaccinated.

In the next stage, essential workers, people above 50 years of age and those with at least one chronic disease will be vaccinated.

In the third phase, people under 50 with at least one chronic disease, young adults and those who have jobs will be vaccinated.

In the final phase, the jab will be administered to the rest of the public.

There will be two doses administered with a 28-day interval.

The vaccination teams are made up of three health care personnel, including a doctor, said Professor Mustafa Necmi İlhan from the Health Ministry’s Social Sciences Committee.

“Each team can administer the vaccine to a little more than 200 people each day, which means up to 1.5 million may be vaccinated daily across the country,” İlhan detailed.

Public and private hospitals have already been setting up special vaccination rooms. The health facilities with at least 1,000 beds are required to have 25 vaccination rooms.

People will also be able to learn when they will be vaccinated through an SMS system, according to Professor Kemal Memişoğlu, the provincial health director of Istanbul.

“The vaccination teams will visit people who are not able to go to hospitals at their homes,” he said.