Turkish vaccination drive jumps ahead with half million daily doses administered

Turkish healthcare units administered nearly 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday, pushing the total number of doses administered in the country to above 33 million, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced.

“On Saturday, June 12, a total of 449,684 doses of vaccines were administered,” Koca said. “Some 99.485 percent of vaccine appointments showed up to get their shots. We are one step closer to normal life.”

Friday’s numbers were significantly better, with 597,647 doses administered, according to Koca.

“Thousand thanks to our friends working until this hour, to our citizens not skipping on their vaccine appointments,” Koca tweeted, announcing the figures. Earlier in the day, the minister had announced Turkey’s capacity as “three times this many doses”, without detailing why the numbers weren’t higher.

Turkish citizens as young as 40 can make vaccine appointments as of Sunday, Koca announced in an early morning tweet.

With the current 33.3 million doses administered, more than 13.6 million people have been fully vaccinated in Turkey, according to ministry figures. Another 6 million people have received their first doses and are waiting for the second turn.

Saturday saw 6,076 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed, while 75 more people lost their lives due to the deadly virus, bringing Turkey’s death toll to 48,668. Official figures show 78,710 active cases remaining in the country.

Following recent surges that threatened the tourism high season for the second year in a row, Turkey has succeeded in dropping COVID-19 figures to below 10,000 daily diagnoses since May 20, and below 100 daily deaths since June 4.

Turkey's coronavirus figures for June 12
Turkey's coronavirus figures for June 12. Source: https://covid19.saglik.gov.tr/