An Ankara court has ruled that a woman should be reimbursed for a vaccine she received against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is not free in Turkey, likely setting precedent for many other women who have had to pay a hefty fee for the jab.
The Ankara court ruled that Yağmur Varkal should be paid back 2,085 Turkish Liras ($139), the amount she gave for all three doses, according to a report on online news site Diken.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Varkal by the First Children and Women Association (Önce Çocuklar ve Kadınlar Derneği), which said the fee would be returned to Varkal after the court’s decision.
“Now, it is time for the vaccine to be free for everyone!” it said in a tweet on March 10.
#HPVAşısıÜcretsizOlsun mücadelemiz kapsamında, aşıda ücret iadesi talebiyle açtığımız dava, bugün Ankara'da görülen duruşmada mahkeme tarafından KABUL EDİLDİ.— Önce Çocuklar ve Kadınlar Derneği (@oncecocukkadin) March 10, 2022
KARAR: AŞI BEDELİNİN İADESİNE...❤️❤️
Çok mutluyuz.Havalara uçuyoruz🚀
Şimdi sıra, aşının herkes için ücretsiz olmasında! pic.twitter.com/AQ7nP84Hwa
The HPV vaccine, which can prevent as many as 90 percent of six potentially lethal cancers, including cervical cancer, is not covered by the Social Security Institution (SGK) in Turkey. Three doses of the vaccine cost 2,085 liras in total.
Many women cannot get the vaccine in Turkey because of the cost, putting them at risk of developing cancers caused by HPV.
Women’s rights activists and lawmakers are campaigning to make the vaccine free of charge and be covered by the SGK.