More than 68 percent of Turkey’s population aged 18 and above have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while the rate for the first dose for the same age group is over 85 percent, data from the Health Ministry have shown.
Since it rolled out its inoculation drive in mid-January, the country has administered more than 106 million doses of the coronavirus jab. Nearly 43 million people have received both doses, while over 53 million people have been given their first dose of the vaccine. Additionally, some 10 million people have received the third of the coronavirus injection.
Only in seven provinces in Turkey’s total of 81 provinces, at least 75 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.
Under the Health Ministry’s classification, cities, where at least 75 percent of their residents have received two doses, are considered “low-risk” provinces.
In Istanbul, the country’s most populous city, some 65 percent of the adult population have been fully vaccinated, whereas the corresponding rate for Ankara is above 71 percent. In İzmir, the third largest city, close to 74 percent of the residents aged 18 and above have been given both doses.
The northwestern province of Kırklareli has the highest rate at nearly 77 percent, followed by the southwestern province of Muğla at 76 percent. In the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, which is at the bottom of the list, only a little over 41 percent of the adult population have been fully vaccinated.
“The higher the number of people who have received two doses and fully vaccinated increase, the higher our chances are in succeeding against the pandemic,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
In the face of the stubbornly high coronavirus cases, Koca has been urging the public to get their shots and to continue to stick to anti-virus measures especially at a time when social mobility increased after schools reopened earlier this month for in-class education.
The number of daily COVID-19 cases, which climbed to record levels at 60,000 in August, declined to around 5,000 in June and July. However, they started to increase again, exceeding the 20,000- threshold in August. The number of daily infections has been hovering at around and above 28,000 since mid-September.
On the other hand, the daily death toll from the pandemic has been above 200 since August, even touching 290 on Sept. 1.
“Most of the fatalities occur among the patients who are unvaccinated or those who have received two doses of the Sinovac jab but have not been given the booster dose,” said Professor Sema Kutlufan Turan from the Health Ministry’s Science Board.
COVID-19 has become a children’s disease, said Professor Zafer Kurugöl at Ege University, noting that more and more children are being admitted to hospitals. “The positivity rate for COVID-19 among children has increased to 30 percent from 5 percent. And there are a number of severe cases among children patients,” she warned.
Hurriyet Daily News