Over 111.4 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs administered in Turkey since the country launched an immunization drive in January, according to official figures released Wednesday.
More than 54.28 million people have been given a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while around 45.64 million are fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry said.
Turkey has also given third booster shots to more than 10.63 million people.
The ministry recorded 30,438 new coronavirus cases, 236 fatalities and 31,413 recoveries over the last 24 hours.
As many as 358,064 virus tests were conducted in the past day.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter there are three main reasons why cases have not dropped.
“Social mobility has increased a lot. In public spaces and outdoors, measures are not given importance. There are too many areas that the disease is spreading. We haven’t achieved herd immunity yet,” he noted.
Koca underlined that people must comply with protective measures and complete their vaccinations.
In a statement following a meeting of the country’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board held via video link, Koca said that currently there is no need for Turkish people who have received two doses of a mRNA vaccine to receive a third jab.
He underlined that as of Wednesday, more than half of the active cases in the country were found in people under the age of 30.
“Although our young people are among the active cases at a higher rate, this situation was not reflected in hospitalizations and intensive care admissions,” he said.
“However, our young people play a role in transmitting the disease to families and elderly people. Among our citizens who died in the last month, the highest rate is among people aged 70 and over.”
The minister went on to say that although the current active cases are mainly spread among the youth, “it does not strain the health system. But still, high numbers of infected people are not acceptable.”
He emphasized that it is not possible to loosen the protective measures without acheiving herd immunity with vaccinations.
“The fastest way to obtain community immunity with vaccinations is to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Please get your vaccine when it’s time. No one should be left without a vaccine,” Koca said.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.82 million lives in at least 192 countries and regions, with more than 236 million cases reported worldwide, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.