Eris variant statement from Minister Koca
Stating that the number of patients with Eris variant has increased, Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca said, “But hospitalization rates are quite low. It does not cause severe illness. It has a milder course. Minister Koca also said that there is no need for a new vaccination program due to the Eris variant.
Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca answered journalists’ questions after the cabinet meeting.
Minister Koca gave the following answer to the question about the Eris variant of the new type of corona virus (Covid-19) and whether there is a situation to worry about:
“When Covid-19 emerged, it contained many unknowns. In order to fight this process in terms of both virus and diseases, a vaccine had to be developed early on. In this framework, we developed the vaccine produced with reliable ancient techniques known as inactive, namely TURKOVAC. In this process, we now know the disease. We recognize the virus. We follow the effects of all mutations and changes. In these mutations, there has never been an increase in the virulence of the virus, that is, its virulence. The mutations that have occurred are mutations with weaker disease-causing power, and as I said, we are closely monitoring this. In this sense, there is absolutely no need for a new measure for the Eris variant. We now know the disease very well and there is nothing to worry about.”
”WE DO NOT PLAN TO IMPLEMENT A NEW VACCINATION PROGRAM”
Recalling the statements of some countries that they have developed special vaccines against the new variant and that they have launched new vaccination programs, Koca answered the question about whether there will be such a vaccination program in Turkey as follows:
“We all witness that some countries are trying to set an example with vaccine pressure. The fact that some countries succumb to vaccine pressure does not mean that we will also succumb to vaccine pressure. It is not possible for us to bow to the global Covid vaccine pressure. Turkey has its own program and we do not start a vaccination program because someone wants us to. We are implementing our own program and we are definitely not considering implementing a new vaccination program for Covid-19 right now. It is that clear.”
“HOSPITALIZATION RATES ARE QUITE LOW”
Upon a question on whether there has been an increase in the number of patients, the Minister of Health noted the following:
“As you know, the Eris variant has a lower virulence, i.e. the power to make you sick, but it is more contagious. We can say that the number of patients increased during this period. But hospitalization rates are quite low. It does not cause severe illness. It has a milder course. Covid-19 has turned into an upper respiratory tract infection like cold and flu. This was a course we expected. There is no need to panic.
”RESTRICTIONS AND CLOSURES ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION”
There are no restrictions and closures reminiscent of the old era. Therefore, what do we need to do for protection? All our citizens now know, we recommend that those who are sick isolate themselves, do not go out in public, those who are at risk especially protect themselves, stay away from crowded environments, and if necessary, use a mask in that case. We do not have any other recommendations, nor do we have a new vaccination program. So there is absolutely no need for a mass vaccination program.”
“OUR CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE THEIR VACCINES IN THE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM DONE COMPLETELY”
“We attach importance to the flu vaccine during this period,” Koca said, emphasizing that those in risk groups and those who have been identified for flu vaccines are recommended to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Stating that flu vaccines are given free of charge to people in the risk group and defined, Minister Koca continued as follows:
“I need to open an important parenthesis here. We do not have a vaccination program for Covid-19, but as you know, our childhood immunization vaccination program continues successfully and we consider it very important. We follow the childhood vaccination program with sensitivity. Our citizens should be sensitive in this regard and have their children fully vaccinated in the immunization program.
The construction of the infrastructure for research and production of vaccines and biotechnological products at the Ministry of Public Health, which we have commissioned to produce these vaccines, continues. We are committed to localizing all our vaccines. In addition, the process of the 3 vaccines we announced earlier with technology transfer has started. We attach particular importance to the production of chickenpox, rabies and Hepatitis-A vaccines through technology transfer, especially for our children.”
Eris variant statement from Minister Koca