Minister renews calls for getting jabbed, following rules
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has once again called on the public to continue to adhere to the anti-virus rules and getting the vaccine against COVID-19.
"The pandemic has changed our lives and throughout the pandemic some rules have been loosened after a vaccine was developed against the coronavirus. Now, we should pay much more attention to the vaccine for the quality of our lives just like we did when the pandemic first emerged," Koca wrote on Twitter.
The minister, as well as other medical experts, have been complaining that people are ignoring calls for them to get their shots and that the vaccination drive is losing momentum.
More than 5 million people have skipped their appointments to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Koca said last week, adding that only 20 percent of the adult population have been given the third dose of the jab.
The pace of the vaccinations widely varies among Turkey's provinces. For instance, more than 85 percent of the adult population in the northern province of Ordu have been double jabbed, while in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa this rate is only 57 percent.
The number of adults double jabbed in other southeastern and eastern provinces, including Diyarbakır, Mardin, Batman, Siirt, Bitlis Bingöl and Muş, is well below the national average of 81 percent.
Koca also announced on Dec. 2 that screening for the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) disease will be made compulsory prior to marriage.
Newborn babies will also be screened for the disease, the minister said.