vaccine, virus and coronavirus

Turkey’s vaccination plan against coronavirus to have 4 phases

Healthcare workers, people over 65, disabled and people at risk will be the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Turkey.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced late on Wednesday when offering the latest data on the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey that the vaccination plan in the Eurasian country will consist of 4 phases, after confirming a day earlier that the coronavirus vaccine would begin to be administered on December 11, starting with health workers.

“In the first phase, we will vaccinate our health workers, citizens over 65, disabled people and those who live in crowded places,” said the minister. “In the second phase, we will vaccinate citizens working in key jobs necessary for society, people living in high-risk environments, and people over 50 with at least one chronic disease,” he added.

Koca went on to say that the third phase of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 will include people under 50 with at least one chronic disease, young people, and professional and industrial workers not included in the previous two phases. Finally, in the fourth phase, the rest of the population would be vaccinated.

Late on Tuesday, the minister confirmed that the first phase of vaccination against COVID-19 in Turkey would begin on December 11 starting with health workers, after Turkey has acquired 50 million doses of the vaccine from the biopharmaceutical Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, based on the inoculation of an inactivated version of the virus, and is in negotiations to acquire another 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which uses mRNA technology.

Koca has noted however that before being administered, all imported vaccines will be tested by laboratories and drug agencies in Turkey to ensure they meet the country’s health and safety standards.

Access limitations on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue

Turkey thus becomes one of the first countries to start vaccinating its population against the coronavirus, at a time when infections in the country continue to grow worryingly despite new restrictions and curfews imposed by the government , and that include the limitation of capacity in very busy streets.

On the famous İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul, surveillance drones will begin today to control the access so that it does not exceed 7,000 people; should this figure be exceeded, authorities will be able to close access to the busy avenue to prevent risk of contagion from increasing.

Koca also warned that the number of coronavirus cases in the provinces of İzmir – the third most populous in Turkey – and Konya has increased by 50% in the last two weeks, while in Adana, Samsun and Ordu they have grown by a 100%. “Health personnel and hospitals in these provinces are under a heavy workload,” warned yesterday the minister via Twitter.

According to the latest data from Health Ministry , in the last 24 hours, 31,923 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Turkey and 6,690 new patients had to receive treatment for COVID-19. In addition, in the same period, another 193 people died in the country as a result of the pandemic, so there are already 14,129 deaths since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Turkey last March.