Turkey offers 3rd COVID-19 shot to medical staff, citizens over 50

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced that the country will offer a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to medical staff and citizens over the age of 50, starting on July 1.

Duvar English

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced that citizens above the age of 50 as well as health care staff will be able to make appointments as of July 1 to receive their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The minister did not say how long must have passed since the person received their second shot in order to be eligible for the third dose. 

Koca made the remarks on June 30 following a meeting of the country’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board.

“We have decided that it would beneficial for our citizens above the age of 50 and medical staff to get their third dose,” Koca said, adding that they will be given the choice among the shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, regardless of what they received in the previous two doses.

Seniors over 65 and healthcare workers were allocated first priority for the COVID-19 vaccine by the Health Ministry in January, when Ankara hadn't yet been able to obtain BioNTech or other vaccines. 

Koca also said that people who caught the COVID-19 virus will now have to wait only three months, instead of six, to get vaccinated.

“As you know, a person woud be eligible for the vaccination six months after they were infected. Now, this time period has come down to three months,” he said.

The minister also announced that the period between the first and second shots of the Pfizer-​BioNTech vaccine was shortened from six to four weeks.