Turkey has administered over 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January, according to official figures released on Thursday.

More than 30.3 million people have received their first doses, while over 14.6 million have been fully vaccinated, showed the Health Ministry count.

As of Thursday morning, some 5.83 million people in Istanbul and more than 2.5 million people in the capital Ankara have received their first doses. In the Aegean city of Izmir, over 2 million people received their first jabs.

Turkey on Wednesday lowered the COVID-19 vaccination eligibility age to 18, with appointments to be scheduled as of Friday, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also on Tuesday unveiled Turkovac, the country’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which has entered Phase 3 clinical trials.

Amid a nationwide fall in COVID-19 cases, Turkey is set to end all restrictions, which include nighttime curfews and full lockdown on Sundays, as of July 1.

On June 1, the country eased some measures following a 17-day strict lockdown.

According to the latest government figures, Turkey’s overall case tally is now over 5.38 million, while the nationwide death toll is at 49,358.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed nearly 3.9 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with some 179.6 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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