Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, delivered a statement following the Coronavirus Scientific Committee meeting. Later on, Minister Koca went to Ankara City Hospital to receive the second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.
In his speech, Koca noted that the challenging days were behind thanks to the attention of people and tremendous efforts of healthcare workers.
Koca continued,"Rest assured. Very soon we will be able to make plans. We have been very diligent in prioritizing the elderly and those with chronic illnesses for vaccination. As these groups have been vaccinated, we are now moving towards the end of the tunnel. Starting from Monday, we will publish the 7-day average number of cases for each province live. This will allow Provincial Sanitation Boards to take measures on the regional level if required."
"More than 2.8 million people received their first dose"
"However, there is something we need to act very carefully about. If only a few follows the measures, we cannot achieve our goals. We will keep on fighting together and live our bright future as soon as possible."
Noting that more than 2.8 million people had received their first dose as a part of the vaccination program kicked off by the President 28 days ago, Koca continued, "Tomorrow, we start delivering second doses for the first groups who were vaccinated. Our goal is to ensure that at least 60 percent of the target population is vaccinated. Having vaccinated only 3.5% of the population may not seem like a big number. However, given the 3.7% rate in Germany, which is one of the vaccine producing countries in Europe, ours is also a success. Of course, producing and supplying vaccines in the near future will take us to the level we desire."
"We currently have 17 candidate vaccines"
Pointing out that they preferred inactive vaccines among other COVID-19 vaccines produced by different countries, Minister Koca added,"This choice received critisism from many people, but the process has shown that we were right. Right now, many countries, including the European Union, are looking at inactive vaccines.
We have supplied 15 million doses and finalized contracts for more than 100 million doses. And that is not it. We have been working hard and following day to day our own vaccine production projects. We currently have 17 candidate vaccines. Today, volunteers from phase 2 human experiments started receiving the vaccine of our leading candidate.”
"Many mutations of unknown sources are in Turkey"
Minister Koca said that they are closely monitoring the mutations, which are detected in three countries, and their effects, and continued, "Many mutations of unknown sources that are similar in terms of clinical manifestation are detected in Turkey. Mutations affect our schedule on restrictions. The Scientific Committee recommends us to monitor the course of case numbers without rushing to easing restrictions. We have to be more careful with following the measures as these new mutations are more infectious."
Following the press conference, Minister Koca went to Ankara City Hospital to receive the second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.