ANKARA

Healthcare professionals will start receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 11, as part of the country’s strategy to create public immunity against the virus.

It is expected that 3 million doses of the vaccine, the first batch initially brought to Turkey and passed the testing period, will be administered in a few days.

The second batch of 6.5 million doses arrived in Turkey on Jan. 25, and their analyses are currently underway. Vaccinations will resume based on the officially set priority list.

When the analyses are completed, citizens over 65 years old will be vaccinated, followed by those in Phase 2.

The priority sector employees, including those in the National Defense and Interior Ministry, persons in critical positions, private security workers, those working at the Justice Ministry, prisons, education sector (teachers and faculty members), food sector (bakeries, food factories, etc.) and transportation, will be in the first group of Phase 2.

Teachers who will start in-person education as of March 1 will also be given priority in the vaccination process, National Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said on Feb. 6.

Citizens between 50-64 years old will receive the vaccine in Phase 2 as well.

People with chronic diseases are in Phase 3, with those aged 40-49 to be vaccinated first, followed by age groups 30-39, and 18-29, while Phase 4 will include those who did not receive the vaccine on time.

The CoronaVac vaccine, brought from China to Turkey on Dec. 30, 2020, was granted emergency use approval on Jan. 13, after 14-day-long analyses.

The same day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and the members of Turkey’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board received the first dose of the jab. The next day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also vaccinated at Ankara City Hospital.

Healthcare workers, the group prioritized for the jab, also started to receive the first dose on Jan. 14.

Residents of nursing homes, their caretakers, as well as citizens over 90 years old were vaccinated in their residences after healthcare professionals.

People over 85 years old started to receive the vaccine in their homes as of Jan. 21.

On Jan. 21, pharmacists, those working at pharmacy warehouses, and interns studying pharmacy were also included in the vaccination drive.

Those over 80 and 75 received the jab at healthcare organizations with appointments as of Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, respectively.

A total of 2,620,051 citizens have received the first dose of the vaccine by 9.30 a.m. local time on Monday, according to Health Ministry data.

*Writing by Dilan Pamuk

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