The Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, had a video conference with the World Health Organization's Regional Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge. During the meeting, many issues were discussed, such as global and regional developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts in Turkey, vaccine efforts in Turkey and the vaccination program, as well as shaping the post-pandemic era.
Regional Director Kluge began his words by saying, "I would like to congratulate you for the Turkish Presidency's leadership, and your determined efforts to reduce the number of cases" and thanked Turkey for its international cooperation and solidarity. Kluge stressed that Turkey supported over 100 countries and tens of international organizations and said, "I would like to congratulate you for your rapid vaccination campaign."
Minister Koca highlighted the importance of widespread and rapid vaccination in ending the pandemic and added, "We are carrying out vaccination efforts based on our vaccine supply policy and national priority plan. We are at full speed developing our own vaccine. We are at a very good point in terms of vaccination. I think that we will make good progress with effective campaigns until fall. We expect to exceed 1 million doses today."
Minister Koca continued:"I think today, the acute period of the pandemic is close to the end, and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This pandemic has affected our societies in many aspects, causing severe disruptions. Many sectors, such as the economy and tourism, have also been hit hard by the pandemic. All countries are making a great effort to put an end to these problems. However, this brings with it a serious problem and threat. We are going through dangerous times from the point of view of public health, where measures that seem to be targeted at protecting human health in line with economic concerns and expectations are used as a political tool. This puts very important responsibilities upon all of us health professionals, especially WHO. I have no doubt that you will share this concern during your travels and interviews.”