In the southern Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, more than a million people have now been vaccinated by Turkish health workers against COVID-19.
Administered to more than 73% of the target population, more than one million doses have been given out, the provincial health director for Antalya, Unal Hulur, has said.
“We used the lockdown period to our advantage by boosting vaccinations in our province; our vaccine drive has continued without any let-up,” he said.
A positive impact on Antalya
According to Hulur, the efforts have had a positive impact on the city and helped to bring a significant decrease in the number of cases being reported daily. Continuing he said that approximately 73.2% of the target population in Antalya has been given the first dose of the vaccination and 55% have now been fully vaccinated with both doses.
87.8% of health care workers have also been vaccinated, along with 85.8% of people over the age of 65 and 81.6% of people who are working in nursing homes. The vaccination drive has proven to be progressing rapidly within Antalya, which is a major local and global hub in Turkey for tourists.
Others who have been vaccinated
Along with health care professionals and the elderly, priority has been given by the provincial authorities to tourism workers, teachers, police and gendarmerie personnel, people with chronic health conditions, spouses of health workers, journalists and court officials and their employees.
Teams, nicknamed persuasion teams, have also been set up by the health directorate of Antalya in order to raise awareness of the vaccination among those who are hesitant to have it.
“Green Zones” of Europe
The chairperson of the Mediterranean Region Representation Board of the Union of Turkish Travel Agencies, Ferit Turgut, was quick to point out that vaccination drives had been carried out in order to create “green zones” around Europe.
“Having such green zones in Turkey will have positive effects on our entire economy, tourism and health. According to the latest statistic, some 60% to 70% of all tourism sector employees have been vaccinated, which is a very encouraging sign.”
Since launching its mass vaccination campaign in the middle of January, over 29.22 million doses have already been administered to the people of Turkey.
An ongoing normalisation process has seen restrictions being eased this month, and as part of this, in-person dining has been allowed in restaurants with a daily curfew running from 10pm to 5am on weekdays and Saturdays, and the country on full lockdown on Sundays.
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