'COVID-19 vaccinations will take up to 2 years in Turkey at current rate'

It could take up to two years for Turkey to vaccinate 60 million people at this rate, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said. Ankara has also been unevenly inoculating the population, with southeastern provinces suffering from vaccination rates as low as 1.6 percent, the TTB noted.

Duvar English

Vaccination rates across Turkey are incredibly unevenly distributed, and vaccinating 60 million people will take up to two years at the rate at which the Health Ministry is conducting COVID-19 inoculations, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Second Chair Dr. Ali İhsan Ökten said. 

Around 70 to 90 percent of citizens over 75 years old have been vaccinated in big cities, while this rate is below a mere 30 percent in eastern provinces, Ökten noted. 

Only 1.6 percent of the general population was vaccinated in southeastern Turkey, and this rate was a mere 55 percent for seniors, Van Hakkari Medical Chamber Chair Hüseyin Yaviç said. 

"There's a disparity in vaccinations, just like in the effects the pandemic had," Ökten said. 

Recalling Health Minister Fahrettin Koca's statement that Turkey could "conduct up to two million inoculations if we wanted," TTB members urged the government to move as quickly as possible to create herd immunity.

“When I heard the minister, I wondered why we don't want to vaccinate so many people, because we need to," Prof. Esin Davutoğlu Şenol of the TTB said.