Turkey to expedite COVID-19 vaccination drive

Turkey will speed up its vaccination drive with COVID-19 jabs to be given to people aged 50 and above starting June 1, the country’s health minister said Wednesday.

After a top level meeting with the country’s Coronavirus Scientific Committee via video link, Fahrettin Koca said Turkey has signed deals to procure 270 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, “which is more than three times our population.”

“At the beginning of next week, about 5 million doses of vaccine will reach our country,” Koca said.

He added that the country is closer to launching its domestically produced vaccine.

The minister stressed that Turkey will “recover from the devastating effect of the pandemic this summer.”

Turkey started a gradual normalization process on May 17 after a 17-day lockdown that significantly brought infections in the country down.

Until June 1, the country is enforcing weeknight curfews from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., while weekends are under full lockdown.

The country has administered over 28 million doses of the vaccine after a mass inoculation campaign began on Jan. 14, according to the Health Ministry.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 3.48 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 167.88 million cases reported worldwide, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of the number of infections and deaths.

Source: Anadolu Agency