More than 10 million people in Turkey have been given both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 14.4 million people have received their first dose of the jab, data from the country’s Health Ministry have shown.
Turkey launched its vaccination program against the coronavirus on Jan. 14. To date, it has administered more than 24.4 million doses of the injection to its citizens, including the first and the second doses.
Turkey has inked agreements for a total of 240 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines developed by the Chinese firm Sinovac, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Russia’s Sputnik V, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reminded following a Science Board meeting on May 5, noting that this is three times the country’s population.
To date, Turkey has signed deals for 100 million doses of the Chinese, 90 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, and another 50 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccines.
It has been using the Chinese and the Pfizer/BioNTech injections in its inoculation drive.
Koca also said that the daily number of virus cases has declined over the past 15 days thanks to measures and restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The effects of this decline have also started to be seen in hospitalizations with a 10-day lag, he added.
The government introduced a full lockdown from April 29 to May 17 after COVID-19 infections hit record highs, hitting around 60,000 daily cases.
Infections fell below 50,000 starting April 23 and continued to decline gradually in the following days, coming down to some 26,500 on May 5.
“The favorable impact of those measures will also be seen in [the number of] patients in critical condition and fatalities in these days,” Koca said.
The minister also noted that authorities are keeping a close eye on variants of COVID-19.
“There is no consensus on the effects of the virus strains. The public should be preoccupied with the variants issue because we are taking the necessary measures. There is nothing concrete about the strains which should cause neither optimism nor pessimism,” Koca said.
Hurriyet Daily News