Despite repeated calls from top government officials and experts, up to 7.5 million people aged 18 and above in Turkey have not yet received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while another 6 million have skipped the third dose of the coronavirus jab.
Through mid-September, the country has been experiencing a spike in the number of infections, which climbed to 30,563 on Oct. 11, the highest daily figure since April 30.
In terms of the daily number of cases recorded, Turkey presently ranks second in Europe and third in the world.
Experts say that particularly young people are avoiding the coronavirus vaccine and they also largely ignore the basic anti-virus rules.
Those unvaccinated and partially vaccinated, on the other hand, constitute the largest group of patients, receiving COVID-19 treatment at hospitals’ intensive care units (ICU).
Currently, 50 percent of the ICU patients are unvaccinated while 39 percent are elderly people, who have received two doses of the jab but skipped the third one. Another 10 percent are those who have been given only one dose of the jab.
Over the past 90 days, at least 16,000 people have died from the pandemic.
The number of fully vaccinated people accounts for some 55 percent of the country’s entire population.
Turkey has the capacity to administer up to 1.5 million doses of the jab a day. However, the actual figure has been hovering at around 200,000 to 300,000 doses.
Given this outlook, experts reckon that the course the pandemic will take is not likely to change in the weeks to come.
Officials propose the tightening of inspections to bring the spread of the virus under control and improve the current pandemic outlook, which largely is the result of the increased mobility among the young population and people’s complacent behavior.
However, some claim that officials are waiting for tourist season to end in order to impose such tighter checks.
Turkey lifted most of the restrictions, including weeknight curfews and lockdowns on weekends, this summer, and schools reopened after an 18-month break for face-to-face education in early September.
The country, which reported the first COVID-19 case in March 2020, launched its vaccination program in mid-January.
Hurriyet Daily News