Turkey starts to inoculate health workers with 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose

Turkey on Thursday started to inoculate healthcare workers and people aged 50 and above with the third dose of COVID-19 jabs as part of the ongoing nationwide vaccination campaign.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced this the previous day, that people who fit this criterion could make appointments for their third vaccinations.

“There is no restriction or priority about which vaccine type the third dose would be,`’ Koca said at a televised speech after a Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Committee meeting.’

The committee also decided that those who were infected with the Coronavirus would be able to take a jab after three months instead of six.

“It was evaluated that this will significantly increase the current antibody level and protection,’’ the minister noted.

Having a population of 83 million, Turkey launched its nationwide rollout in January by inoculating healthcare workers and the elderly with a vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

It’s recently included the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs in the programme.

The minister also said the interval between two doses in the application of the BioNtech vaccine was reduced to four weeks from six weeks to combat the Delta variant.

According to Koca, the COVID-19 cases of Delta variant are on the rise in the country as the number of the infected has increased to 244 in 26 provinces from 138 in 16 provinces last week.

The health ministry’s latest data revealed that more than 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Turkey. The number of people who received two COVID-19 vaccine doses has exceeded 15.1 million. (Xinhua/NAN)