Food sector, hairdressers added to vaccine priority groups

Turkey has added new group of professionals, including people working in the eatery sector, drivers, lawyers and barbers, to its vaccination program that has been gaining momentum lately.

This week citizens aged 45 and older already started receiving their COVID-19 injections, while the vaccinations of people over the age of 40 will begin early next week.

"As part of our inoculation program, employees of the food production and distribution sector, cafes and restaurants, as well as barbers and hairdressers can make a vaccine appointment as of Friday," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Twitter on June 10.

All lawyers, regardless of age, have also been included in the vaccine priority program, the minister said.

The minister also announced on June 11 that those working in intracity and intercity transport as well as taxi drivers will be able to make vaccine appointments starting June 12.

He also urged the public to not skip their appointment. "A single BioNTech vial contains vaccines for six people. When it is diluted it should be used within six hours otherwise it goes to waste. The vaccine is precious, and it is not easy to supply. Do not skip your appointment," Koca wrote on Twitter.

Turkey rolled out its vaccination drive in mid-January, starting with health care staff and the elderly. Over the months, the jab drive has widened to cover new age groups and key professionals, such as teachers, academics, musicians and people working in the cinema and TV industry.

The government is hoping to accelerate the vaccination drive further during the summer months as it expects more deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Sinovac jabs at a time when the daily number of COVID-19 cases...

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