By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic soon with its mass vaccination campaign, said the country’s president on Sunday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended an online event to mark Father’s Day and answered questions of young people across Turkey.
Responding to a question on the pandemic and when it will end, Erdogan said Turkey has been ahead of other countries in everything from health services to public safety since the beginning of the outbreak.
“At a time when supplying vaccines was very difficult, we are running a fast vaccination schedule thanks to the connections we have made in a timely manner. We have some setbacks, but we also overcome these delays. We are in good shape right now. I hope we will overcome this calamity soon,” he said.
Erdogan said the domestic vaccination studies are continuing and the target is to start production by September-October.
“Currently, the rate of infection has dropped seriously. But we need to decrease this rate further. The number of cases is around 5,000 per day. We think this is too much. The number of daily deaths is around 50. We don't want this either,” Erdogan said.
“It is our hope that we will both decrease the number of cases to double digits and decrease the number of deaths to single digits,” he said adding vaccination is the greatest tool to achieve that.
“We are also good at importing vaccines and we will continue to do so, rapidly,” he added.
Responding to a question on anti-vaxxers, Erdogan called for respecting science, saying: “It's impossible to deny science.”
“Every individual of our nation should know that they have an opportunity to access vaccines that billions of people in the world have not been able to reach,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of scientists to develop the vaccine and make it applicable to humans. Our duty is to use the vaccine developed by the best experts in their fields, while respecting science. We cannot exclude ourselves from a process that encompasses the entire population of the world,” he added.
Turkey on Saturday has lowered the COVID-19 vaccination eligibility age to 30.
Over 41.34 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered since the country launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January. More than 26.96 million people have received their first doses, while over 14.38 million have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, according to the Health Ministry data.