Turkey aims to give at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to those who are aged 18 and above before Eid al-Adha, a four-day Muslim festival that is set to take place between July 20 and July 23 this year.
“Let’s strive for our goal of having at least one dose of vaccine for the population aged 18 and above before the holiday,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, urging Turkish citizens once again to get vaccinated.
“Let’s get the pandemic off the agenda with a vaccine,” he noted.
The minister also released the latest figures regarding Turkey’s vaccination drive, which began on Jan. 14 to curb the spread of the virus.
According to figures released on July 17, Turkey administered over half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the last 24 hours, exceeding Koca’s inoculation target until Eid.
“Three days left until the Eid, 1.13 million doses more to go,” Koca said in a post he shared on Twitter on July 17.
The country continues its vaccination campaign as all residents aged 18 and above are eligible for receiving vaccine shots.
The Health Ministry data shows that more than 38.86 million people in Turkey have received their first vaccine dose, while over 20.37 million have received their second so far.
Over 62 percent of the adult population has received at least one dose to date.
Meanwhile, health workers continue to hike steep Turkish mountains to deliver vaccines in rural areas and isolated villages, trying to persuade those who are reluctant to get vaccinated.
Koca shared a series of challenges experienced by a nurse named Viyan Çakır, who climbed up to the Dağsu Plateau in the eastern province of Van to administer vaccine shots.
He noted that Çakır had to climb to an altitude of 2,700 meters to have internet access to enter people in the vaccination registration system and then descended to an altitude of 1,950 meters to administer shots to people living in the plateau.
The ministry also confirmed 7,666 new infections and 38 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while as many as 5,490 more patients recovered.
Amid a nationwide drop in cases and expedited vaccination efforts, Turkey entered a new normalization phase on July 1, lifting almost all virus-related restrictions.
Hurriyet Daily News