Turkey vaccinates one million people in first week

Turkey vaccinates one million people in first week
Turkey has confronted the covid-19 crisis by vaccinating one million people in just one week.
2 min read
Led by Erdogan, Turkey's vaccination program has launched [Getty]

Turkey has vaccinated more than one million people against the novel coronavirus in the first week of a national inoculation drive, according to health ministry figures issued Wednesday.

But the drive has lost some of its momentum after more than 600,000 people were inoculated in the first two days.

Turkey began the campaign with the CoronaVac jab produced by China's Sinovac last Thursday.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca called Turkey's progress "one of the fastest in the world".

In comparison, France had vaccinated around 585,000 people by Tuesday, after starting its campaign on December 28.

Turkey has now given a first shot to more than one percent of the population of more than 83 million people.

Read more: Why Israel and Turkey could reset fraught relations

The campaign kicked off with healthcare workers and moved on to those over the age of 80 on Tuesday.

But while Turkey has signed up for 50 million doses of CoronaVac, it is due to receive just three million by the end of the month, limiting the potential pace of the rollout.

In December, Turkey also reached a deal to receive 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab by late March.

Ankara has officially registered 24,328 Covid-19 deaths and nearly 2.4 million virus infections but has never seen its daily death toll exceed 300, avoiding the grim death rates recorded in European countries such as Britain and Italy.

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