Turkey to start administering BioNTech booster shots

Turkey will administer booster shots of the BioNTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, starting with people over the age of 60, citizens at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to chronic illnesses, and workers at high risk due to their occupational settings, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced.

Health officials are administering the COVID-19 vaccine on an elderly person at his home.

Duvar English

Turkey will administer third shots of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine starting with the elderly, citizens with chronic diseases and workers employed at “high-risk occupations,” including health staff, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Nov. 3.

Koca made the remarks in a written statement after attending a meeting of the Coronavirus Science Committee.

The minister said that the booster shots will be started to be administered on Nov. 4.

“It has been decided [at the Coronavirus Science Committee] that it will be appropriate to administer a booster shot to people who received mRNA vaccine and six months have passed since the second dose, prioritizing risk-groups. These groups are citizens above the age of 60, those aged between 18-60 who have chronic diseases, and those working in high-risk professions, particularly health workers,” Koca said.

The minister also said that the two-dose vaccination rate needs to exceed 70 percent to achieve herd immunity, whereas 67.2 percent of the population have so far received their first jabs, while it is only 59 percent who have received both of the jabs.

“To achieve herd immunity, this rate needs to go above 70 percent. Without the pandemic ending and without achieving herd immunity, measures should not be abandoned,” Koca said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry on Nov. 3 recorded 29,764 new coronavirus cases, 246 related deaths, and 33,366 recoveries over the past day.

A total of 363,238 new virus tests were done in the last 24 hours.