Residents of nursing homes next in Turkey’s COVID-19 vaccination drive

Residents of nursing homes next in Turkey’s COVID-19 vaccination drive

Еurkey is set to wrap up the vaccination of health care workers, who were among the first to be injected with an inactive coronavirus vaccine from China last week, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah. The next group on the vaccine priority list will be the elderly, specifically those staying in nursing homes. A vaccination drive expected to start later this week will also cover the staff of nursing homes and the disabled staying in care homes run by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services.

Authorities examined the detailed medical histories of each person staying and working in those places and set up special rooms to administer vaccinations inside each nursing and care homes. Under the plan, 87,120 people will get jabs from CoronaVac, imported from China. Among them are 24,200 senior citizens and 30,000 disabled individuals. Theirs will be the only personally delivered vaccines as other citizens are required to visit hospitals or clinics to get inoculated. The next stage in the vaccination drive is expected to be completed in one week.

Over 650,000 health care workers received the first dose of the vaccine in the first three days of the vaccination campaign in the country, which started on Jan. 14. All were administered CoronaVac, developed by the company Sinovac and shipped to Turkey on Dec. 30. A second dose will be administered 28 days later, while those who recovered from COVID-19 will not be vaccinated in four to six months following their recovery.

The Health Ministry drafted a road map long before the arrival of the vaccines and determined that health care workers would be the first to get inoculated, followed by senior citizens, specifically those with at least one chronic disease. People working in critical jobs, like soldiers and police officers, are also prioritized in the vaccination drive.

The coronavirus outbreak, which made its foray in Turkey last March, exposed vulnerable senior citizens to the risk of infection. The elderly have long constituted the majority of coronavirus-related deaths. However, nursing homes were quick to respond to the outbreak and drew the praise of World Health Organization (WHO) officials for their measures, including guidelines issued to each home two months before the first cases were reported. After the outbreak, new admissions were canceled, and residents were not allowed to leave; visitors were also barred from entering the premises. The staff was also subject to a new shift system, reducing the infection risk, and regular coronavirus tests were frequently conducted. Each nursing home also has isolation rooms now, allocated for potential patients before their transfer to hospitals.

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