Turkey rolls out over 138 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses in 1 year

Turkey has so far rolled out more than 138 million COVID-19 vaccine doses within the framework of its national vaccination program, which started a year ago today, the Turkish Health Ministry reported on Friday.

According to the ministry’s latest data, the vaccination rate of people aged 18 and over who have got two doses hit 83.86, while the ratio of those who received their first shots reached 92.16 percent.

The number of citizens who have taken their booster jabs is now 22.8 million in the country of 83 million people, the data also revealed.

Turkey launched its vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, 2021 with China’s Sinovac vaccine, with priority given to health care professionals and the elderly.

It later included the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the program and started to use the locally developed COVID-19 vaccine Turcovac at the end of December in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the country for the last two weeks, pushing the number of daily cases to 75,000 thresholds.

Facing a rapid spread of infections, many unvaccinated people flocked to health centers to have their shots done, causing the vaccination pace to gain significant momentum.

“Widespread vaccination has brought us very close to our normal life in one year. Let’s get our missing doses with the commitment of the first day,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, marking the first anniversary of the campaign. ■