Turkey offers vaccine boosters to children aged 12-15 as Omicron spreads

Turkey started on Friday to administer the third COVID-19 vaccine dose to children aged 12 to 15 as the Omicron variant fastly spreads across the country, Xinhua reports.

Children in this age group who have taken their second shots three months ago are now eligible for boosters, said the health ministry.

So far, 135 million vaccine doses have been given in total, including 20.7 million third shots, as part of the ongoing vaccination campaign in Turkey.

For the last couple of days, many people flocked to hospitals in Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city where most infections have been recorded, to get vaccinated.

The total coronavirus cases in Turkey soared to 68,413 on Thursday.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca earlier said the number of COVID-19 cases in Istanbul has surpassed half of the country's total number amid the spread of the Omicron variant, but noted the increase has not yet put a burden on hospitalization.

Video footage aired by the NTV broadcaster showed long queues in front of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test centers in hospitals across the Turkish city of over 16 million.

According to press reports, the skyrocketing daily cases might force health authorities to adopt new restrictions in the coming days when the daily number would hit 100,000. 


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