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Over 11.4 million have been fully vaccinated in Turkey

Over 11.4 million have been fully vaccinated in Turkey

Over 11.4 million have been fully vaccinated since the launch of a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, according to official figures. In total, Turkey has administered over 26.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Health Ministry confirmed Tuesday a total of 11,937 cases, including 916 symptomatic patients, across the country in the past 24 hours.

Turkey’s overall case tally is now over 5.13 million, while the nationwide death toll reached 45,186, with 203 more fatalities over the past day.

As many as 10,125 more patients won the battle against the virus, taking the total number of recoveries past 4.97 million.

Over 51.29 million coronavirus tests have been conducted to date, including 217,276 since Monday.

 

The latest figures show that the number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition stands at 2,232.

The total number of cases per 100,000 people by province was 184.78 in the metropolis Istanbul, 152.63 in the capital Ankara and 93.86 in western Izmir, according to weekly data shared by Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Koca said the provinces that have shown the greatest decrease in case numbers over the last week were Kastamonu in the Black Sea region, Tekirdag and Istanbul in the northwest, Bayburt in the northeast and Zonguldak, also in the Black Sea region.

“It is in our hands to make this good course permanent. We succeeded before, we can do it again,” he added.

Koca said early Tuesday that Turkey will receive 90 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in the next two months to facilitate the country’s fight against the pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference, Koca said that BioNTech co-founder Uğur Şahin would participate in this week’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board meeting and would provide details about the delivery process.

Koca noted that the ministry expects the Turkish population to have developed public immunity against the virus before September with the help of the incoming 50 million doses, which are expected to be delivered in June and July. The health minister added that they had invited Şahin to Turkey at the beginning of June.

The health minister stated that Sinovac, the Beijing-based firm behind CoronaVac, had granted Turkey authorization to produce the vaccine but that production would not start for a few months. The health minister noted that 10 million CoronaVac vaccines are expected to be delivered to Turkey within the week.

National Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said on Tuesday that all teachers and school employees over the age of 40 were now eligible to receive vaccinations.

The country once ranked sixth in terms of vaccination in the world, but the drive has somewhat slowed down. Experts tie it to challenges in vaccine deliveries, something the health minister recently has partly acknowledged. But authorities are also concerned that anti-vaxxers and vaccine skeptics may affect the inoculation drive.

Work is underway on locally made vaccines, but most are still in the early stages of development and scientists hope to achieve results this year. Vaccines being developed in the country range from an inactive vaccine to an intra-nasal spray and a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters that universities and pharmaceutical companies are working hard and he expected “mass production” would start in September or October “based on what they pledged.”

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