Turkey’s jab drive losing steam, warns expert
Turkey’s vaccination drive has been losing momentum as people are becoming more complacent in the face of the decline in COVID-19 cases, an expert has warned.
“Less and less people are visiting vaccination clinics, and the slow pace in the jab drive is likely to continue during the summer months,” said Professor Alper Şener, a member of the Health Ministry’s Science Board, which advises the government on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data from the Health Ministry show that only 40 percent of the targeted population have received their booster shots, Şener added.
As things stand, there is both good and bad news on the front in the fight against the pandemic, said Şener.
“Good news is that the number of outpatients [visiting hospitals for COVID-19] fell 50 percent in parallel with the overall decline in infections. However, we are not sure how long this period may continue,” he said.
But Şener also noted people aged over 65 will still be at risk if they keep avoiding their shots of the vaccine.
He reckoned that the public is increasingly ignoring calls for getting their vaccine shots as the virus cases drop and ignoring anti-virus measures, warning that the number of daily infections may start climbing again in the fall.
Since the start of the vaccination drive in January last year, Turkey has administered nearly 147 million doses of the shots against the coronavirus. More than 27.5 million people have received their booster shots, while close to 53 million people, aged 18 and over, have been double jabbed.