Turkey expands its COVID-19 vaccination campaign

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Within the scope of expanding Turkey’s vaccination program, the Health Ministry has added more chronic illnesses to its list of vaccine priority, giving vaccination appointments to those over the age of 20 suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, heart, or kidney diseases.

The ministry has increased the number of people to be inoculated with priority by adding new chronic diseases to its list with the arrival of BioNTech vaccines in the country.

These chronic diseases include high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as advanced kidney and heart problems.

According to reports, despite the announcement by the ministry that 30 million doses of BioNTech vaccine will reach the country by the end of June, no explanation was made by the officials so far “in order not to damage the vaccine shipment.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that new services were provided to citizens to easily access vaccines.

“For the BioNTech vaccine, our family of physicians, together with public and private hospitals, are now active,” Koca said, adding that appointments would be arranged through e-Nabız (e-Pulse), an application run by the Health Ministry, and the Central Physician Appointment System.

BioNTech vaccine injection was only performed in hospitals until now, prolonging the vaccination period due to the backlog.

According to reports, there are also problems over the administration of the doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine, with those preferring the Sinovac vaccine displayed with a warning that “there are no suitable criteria” on the appointment system.

Turkey has signed deals to procure 270 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is more than three times its population.

“At the beginning of next week, about 5 million doses of vaccine will reach our country,” Koca said on May 26.

The country has so far administered over 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January, according to official figures released on June 8.

Around 18 million people have received their first doses, while over 13.3 million have been fully inoculated, the Health Ministry’s data showed.

Hurriyet Daily News

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