Low second dose rates compromise vaccination dynamics


As Turkey’s vaccination campaign against the coronavirus pandemic continues successfully in terms of both the scope of the vaccine program and the speed of inoculations, the latest remarks from a senior Turkish official show reluctance of the public to get the second dose of a vaccine jeopardizes the momentum. in the program

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Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said some of the country’s 81 provinces have experienced relatively low rates of second dose vaccination despite successfully reaching the first target dose within a short time.

“We have eight provinces with a second dose rate below 65% and 59 provinces below 80%, although the first dose of vaccination [campaign] was successful in no time, ”Koca said on Twitter.

The vaccination rate is still below 65 percent in several southeastern provinces, including Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Muş, Bitlis, Siirt and Batman, as reluctance to vaccinate and outright opposition to vaccines appear be the main causes of the low rates.

“We would like to remind those who are still undecided about vaccination: humanity is impatient to get vaccinated,” Koca said, adding that countries with low vaccination rates are those which cannot provide vaccines.

Turkey has administered more than 119.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine since it launched a vaccination campaign in January, according to official figures.

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More than 56.08 million people have received a first dose of the vaccine, while more than 50.06 million are fully vaccinated, the health ministry said. The country also administered a third booster injection to more than 11.9 million people.

The ministry recorded 21,177 new cases of COVID-19, 195 deaths and 34,290 recoveries within 24 hours and up to 350,163 viral tests were performed during the same period, the data showed.

The latest weekly figures show that the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people has increased in Istanbul, a Turkish metropolis of more than 16 million people. However, the capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir recorded declines.

The number of cases for the period from 6 to 12 November shows that Istanbul had an average of 308 cases per 100,000 population and that number was around 241 in Ankara and around 68 in Izmir.

Meanwhile, human trials of Turkey’s national COVID-19 vaccine are underway, but an expert said an army of 1,000 volunteers is needed to complete testing.

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“Plans are to test 3,000 people for phase 3 of Turkovac and about two-thirds of this has been completed so far,” Professor Alper Şener of the Health Ministry’s Scientific Council said, adding that “1,000 heroes “are needed to complete the phase. -3 studies.

Turkovac was developed by scientists in the Central Anatolia Province of Erciyes University in Kayseri and began its phase 3 human trials in June.

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