Children, youth make up 35% of COVID-19 cases in Turkey.The majority of them were between the ages of 10 and 19, while 6% of them were babies and children up to age 9. Associate professor Afşin Emre Kayıpmaz, a member of the Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, warned families to have their eligible children – those aged 12 and above – vaccinated to reduce infection risk and curb the pandemic.
Vaccination is not mandatory in Turkey, but the vaccination program was recently expanded to people aged 15 and above while children between the ages of 12 and 15 are eligible if they have a chronic disease.
The first wave of deadly COVID-19 cases in Turkey was among the elderly, and the early fatalities were mainly senior citizens. Kayıpmaz said the coronavirus can affect anyone from infants to older children. “Infections are more prevalent now as a result of variants. This new situation increases the number of cases among children and youth who are involved in education, spend more time in social environments and have higher mobility,” Kayıpmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Tuesday.
He said some infections among the youth and children were “bad enough” to hospitalize them and fatalities, though rare, were also reported. “They usually suffer from a mild form of COVID-19 but it is not entirely true that the children and the youth are not infected at all. It would be a mistake to spare them from protective mask, social distancing and hygiene rules by believing that they would not fall ill. Neglecting those measures can propel the risk of the virus spreading further in society,” he warned.