Health professionals, politicians call on people to get vaccinated

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With Turkey gradually reopening and returning to normal after days of strict restrictions, health professionals, experts, politicians and actors have urged the nation to get vaccinated in a bid to tackle the pandemic.

“Nearly 40 percent of the patients admitted in the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 die,” said İsmail Cinel, the chairman of the Turkish Intensive Care Association, warning people who declined invitations to get vaccinated with the data of the intensive care services across the country.

“Between 2 and 7 percent of those who contract the virus experience the disease very severely and end up in intensive care,” Cinel said, adding that some of the survivors had to continue their lives as ‘half-humans’ as they recovered with reduced functional capacities.

Questioning that if it’s worth taking such a risk, Cinel stressed that the people that end up in the intensive care unit might find themselves in situations suffering from organ dysfunctions after getting infected from COVID-19.

“They experience septic shock attacks with secondary bacterial or fungal infections at least once or twice during the intensive care unit. So even if they survive the coronavirus, they face other deadly diseases,” Cinel noted.

He emphasized that everyone who is in line for jabs should be vaccinated.

“I got COVID-19 after I got vaccinated. The virus did not descend into my lungs and I survived the disease with normal pain and cough. If I hadn’t been vaccinated, I would have had it worse,” said Ali Özkaya, a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“There are currently three types of COVID-19 vaccines in Turkey; [people] can get whatever [jab] they want. But I would definitely recommend getting them vaccinated,” Özkaya added.

Gürsel Tekin, a lawmaker of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), also urged people to get vaccinated, noting that he had contracted COVID-19 before he was vaccinated and consequently suffered from this disease severely.

Thoracic surgeon Selçuk Köse, one of the first and most severe victims of COVID-19 in Turkey, talked about his experiences after COVID-19, saying that the greatest protection and weapon against this disease was vaccination.

“I don’t have a clear scar, but I still have mild balance problems and some memory loss problems. This is a problem those who have had a severe COVID-19 infection can face,” Köse said while suggesting everyone to get vaccinated.

Nilgün Belgün, a Turkish actor who contracted COVID-19 before, also called on people to get their vaccine jabs.

Turkey started administering the coronavirus vaccine to people aged 50 and above on June 1.

Since the country began a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, more than 16.7 million people to date have received their first doses, while over 12.6 million have been fully inoculated.

Hurriyet Daily News

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