Musicians, academics added to Turkey’s vaccination program

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Turkey has widened its vaccination program to cover new groups, including academics, university staff, and musicians, as well as movie and TV series production crews.

“We will remove the outbreak from the country’s agenda as soon as possible as we add more professionals and age groups to the inoculation program by the day,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.

The vaccinations of musicians, academics, university personnel and those who work in the TV and cinema industries are set to start on June 9.

Koca also said that university students will be inoculated by Sept. 13 when the new academic year begins.

Turkey rolled out its vaccination program on Jan. 14. To date, it has administered nearly 31.6 million doses of COVID-19 injections.

According to data from the Health Ministry, more than 18.2 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine, while over 13.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Vaccine hesitation

As the scope of the vaccination program widens, hospitals are now busier with inoculations, but some people are still hesitant about getting a shot, said health professionals.

People are forming long lines in front of Istanbul’s hospitals, but inside some of them they are asking staff detailed but mostly wrong questions regarding the jabs.

“We are arranging around 4,000 vaccine appointments a day. Some 100 people skip their appointments, apparently due to unfounded concerns,” said a nurse at Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul.

Some people insist to see the vaccine vial to make sure that they receive the right jab, the nurse said, adding that others even question the way the injections are stored.

“They even hassle about why the doses are administered 45 days apart.”

Some of them leave the hospital without receiving the jab, the health worker added.

People are confused and that is why they are asking too many questions and because of those concerns they are feeling uneasy, said another health profession at Sultan Abdülhamid Han Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

“We try to help them overcome those concerns,” the health care worker added.

The drop in the number of coronavirus cases continues even though the pace of the decline slows, Koca also said in a separate tweet.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases, which hit above 60,000 mid-April, has been below 10,000 since May 20.

Hurriyet Daily News

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