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Turkish expert assured citizens of COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy

Turkish expert assured citizens of COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy

A vaccination drive has been underway in Turkey against the coronavirus since January. As the public wondered about whether the vaccine would help in protecting them against the deadly disease, professor Mustafa Necmi Ilhan assured them of its efficacy. Ilhan, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, said Friday that only 852 of the 1.3 million people who had received both doses of the vaccine were diagnosed with the virus. Fifty-three of them were hospitalized, while five among the hospitalized were in intensive care. Three out of five have already been discharged from the hospital, he said.

Ilhan said none of those hospitalized were intubated or lost their lives. “This means the vaccine truly works,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA). “The vaccine’s primary role is preventing people from suffering from a severe form of COVID-19 anyway,” he added.

Turkey started the vaccination of the public on Jan. 14, with health care workers prioritized for jabs. So far, more than 10.7 million doses have been administered, including some 7.8 million people who were inoculated with first doses. Health authorities closely monitor those who were vaccinated, and further data is expected to be released on the health condition of the remaining 1.5 million people who received both doses of the vaccine. The country uses CoronaVac, an inactive vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac for mass inoculation, and two doses are administered with an interval of 28 days. After health care workers, a vaccination drive was launched for senior citizens and it was later expanded to public sector staff, including teachers. Younger people, that is, below 65, will have to wait for their turn.