Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Arriving at Ankara City Hospital, Erdogan received the first dose of China’s CoronaVac vaccine. “I got vaccinated as well,” Erdogan said on the Telegram social network.
“I believe that especially if all political leaders, MPs encourage the [application of] the COVID-19 vaccine, it will be right [decision],” he told reporters.
Erdogan added that members of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Central Decision and Executive Board were also vaccinated along with him.
Extending his condolences over fatalities due to COVID-19, Erdogan also wished Allah’s mercy for those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to patients who are under treatment at hospitals.
He also said that so far over 250,000 healthcare workers got vaccinated against the virus across the country.
Underlying healthcare workers’ efforts on the frontline, Erdogan hailed their fight against the disease.
Nationwide vaccination campaign
Early Thursday, health workers in Turkey launched the first phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Wednesday became the first person to receive the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine in the country. Following the minister, the committee members of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board were vaccinated as well.
According to data from the Health Ministry, Turkey has 1.1 million health workers who will be vaccinated within a month.
Two doses of the vaccine will be administered 28 days apart. Those who recovered from COVID-19 will not be vaccinated in four to six months following their recovery.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkey’s official drug and medical equipment body approved CoronaVac for emergency use against the novel coronavirus.
The first batch of 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ordered from China’s SinoVac Biotech arrived in Turkey on Dec. 30