Turkey aims to vaccinate over 80 percent of population, says expert

Turkey aims to vaccinate more than 80 percent of the population against COVID-19, Professor Alper Şen from the Health Ministry's Science Board has said.

The vaccine drive is not moving at the desired speed, but still the vaccination rate in Turkey is higher than many countries in Europe, according to Şen.

"It is somewhere at 41 percent in the EU whereas the vaccination rate in Turkey is around 60 percent. But we still need to vaccinate more than 80 percent of the population just like Portugal has done," he said.

Thanks to the ongoing vaccination drive, hospitals are not overwhelmed in the country, and intensive care units are not running out of beds, he noted.

"Hospitals do not need to set up additional COVID-19 wards. Because one of the vaccines used in Turkey effectively prevents hospitalizations and deaths from the virus."

Turkey is using both the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and the Chinese company Sinovac's vaccine.

Şen stressed that Turkey is using the two most effective vaccines against COVID-19 in its inoculation drive and there are no problems regarding securing their supplies, but he complained about people's lack of interest in getting vaccinated, specifically calling on people to get the third dose of the shot at a time when winter will pose additional challenges.

Şen complained that partially due to disinformation on social media, which feeds vaccine hesitancy, the vaccination drive in Turkey is slow.

Since it started the vaccinations in January, Turkey has administered nearly 121 million doses of the COVID-19 shots.

Continue reading on: