Turkey begins to vaccinate civil servants, workers against COVID-19

Turkey on Tuesday started to inoculate civil servants and workers against COVID-19 as part of its ongoing nationwide vaccination program.

On Monday evening, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca urged all employees registered with the social security system to get their vaccination appointment.

After the minister’s statement, many people wanted to use online platforms to make an appointment, causing short-term collapses in the vaccination system because of overload.

“I waited for almost two hours to log in the health ministry’s mobile application,” said Yagmur Iscan, a 28-year old Istanbul resident. “It was at around two o’clock in the morning when I finally succeeded.”

Earlier in the day, Tugba Naziroglu, a pulmonologist at the Istanbul Pendik State Hospital, said the vaccination units in her hospital saw the highest occupancy rate since the nationwide vaccination campaign started in January.

Meanwhile, “the density at the COVID-19 units, however, are at the lowest level,” Naziroglu said on Twitter, noting the number of coronavirus-infected people admitted to the hospital has significantly decreased.

According to Koca, Turkey administered the highest daily doses on Monday by vaccinating over 840,000 citizens, raising the total number to more than 35 million.

With a population of 83 million, Turkey launched its vaccination program with China’s Sinovac vaccine and recently also the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.