Turkish Health Ministry aims to speed up vaccinations

Turkish Health Ministry aims to speed up vaccinations

Turkish Health Ministry aims to speed up vaccinations

Turkey’s Health Ministry has taken a step aiming at speeding up daily vaccinations against COVID-19 by increasing the number of inoculation appointments.

According to the new measure introduced, vaccinations are scheduled for every five minutes in the afternoon while the appointments before noon remained unchanged at 10 minutes apart.

This means one person will get the jab every five minutes in the afternoon.

The measure is designed to boost the number of people receiving the injection.

Turkey rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program on Jan. 14. To date, the Chinese jab CoronaVac has been administered to more than 4 million people, mostly health care workers and the elderly.

According to information the ministry provides, nearly 3.5 million people have received their first doses of the injection while another 550,000 people, the health care workers, have been administered the second shot.

The jab is administered in two doses and 28 days apart.

However, some doctors are warning that family health care centers could be overwhelmed after the new arrangement introducing more appointments and that some problems may occur.

“The five-minute appointment schedule means each doctor seeing 12 patients in an hour. Let’s assume that five doctors working at a family health care center then the facility should deal with a total of 240 people. Under this arrangement, maybe half of those people should get back home without receiving the vaccine,” Hacı Yusuf Eryazğan from the Federation of Family Physicians’ Association (AHEF) told daily Milliyet.

He also pointed that those who get the vaccine should be monitored at the facility for 15 minutes to see if they develop any allergic reaction to the jab and that the new appointment system could make this monitoring more difficult.

Eryazğan proposed the establishment of a vaccination center to give a boost to the inoculation drive.

Currently people aged over 65 are getting their first shot of the coronavirus injection.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently said that Turkey targets vaccinating at least 60 percent of its population.

The country’s vaccination program is conducted in four stages.

In the second stage, essential workers and those aged between 50 and 64 will get the shot.

The third stage includes those with at least one chronic disease aged below 50 and young adults.

In the fourth stage, the rest of the public will be vaccinated.

Even if some 15 percent to 20 percent population get the injection, this could help stem the spread of the virus a great deal and may prevent the virus from mutating, said Professor Hasan Tezer from the Health Ministry’s Science Board.