COVID vaccine will not be mandatory in Turkey

Turkey will not make vaccination against the novel coronavirus compulsory, the top health official said.

“Our vaccination program is ready. With our scientists, we will make efforts to convince the public about the necessity of vaccination against the coronavirus,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

Countries, especially in Europe, have begun procuring and administering vaccines to help pave the way towards ending the pandemic.

Turkey reported 14,205 more coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, including 2,806 symptomatic patients, the Health Ministry announced Sunday.

The overall caseload rose to 2.14 million with the latest additions.

As many as 21,196 patients also recovered, bringing the tally to 2.01 million, while the death toll rose to 19,878 with 254 additions.

Across the country, 172,113 new COVID-19 tests were conducted, pushing the total to over 23.77 million.

The number of patients in critical condition now stands at 4,309.

Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December last year, the pandemic has claimed over 1.76 million lives in 191 countries and regions, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed infections worldwide exceeds 80.7 million while recoveries top 45.6 million.