Turkish physicians hail decision to vaccinate children 12 and up against Covid-19
ISTANBUL: Turkish physicians on Friday hailed the country’s decision to vaccinate children 12 years and older against Covid-19 as schools prepare to open next week.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Thursday that all children aged 12 years and up would be allowed to get the jabs.
“My physician friends who have children in this age group were looking forward to this decision,” Bengi Baser, a professor of interventional cardiology at Ankara-based Hacettepe University, said in a tweet. “Because they know they can only protect them with vaccines.”
Baser said the data revealed that Covid-19 vaccines are safe for the group.
Derya Unutmaz, an immune system specialist, urged the group to get vaccinated immediately, stressing that the risk of being infected with the coronavirus will increase significantly after the opening of schools on Sept. 6.
“Vaccines protect children even better than adults,” Unutmaz stressed.
According to Yesim Tasova, head of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Department at the Cukurova University
Faculty of Medicine, teenage vaccination is necessary given how active and mobile the group would be once the new academic year starts.
“Their inoculation would also be essential to reduce the virus load in the community,” Tasova was quoted as saying by the Ihlas news agency.
Turkey had lowered the Covid-19 vaccination eligibility age to 15 in mid-August, adding that those aged 12 and over with a chronic disease could also get their shots done.
The country has so far administered nearly 96 million vaccine doses as part of its ongoing vaccination campaign, the ministry revealed. It said the vaccination rate of those aged 18 and over with two vaccine doses surpassed 60 percent on Friday. (Xinhua)
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