COVID-19 is on the rise again. The numbers are increasing by the day in Turkey due to the delta variant.
Not only in Turkey, in most parts of the world cases are skyrocketing. But the good news is that we have the vaccine now, thus, humanity has the cure. However, millions seem unconvinced. The growing anti-vaccine sentiment spreading across the world is more dangerous than COVID-19 itself.
In Turkey there is an abundance of vaccines at the moment. All citizens and individuals with Turkish residence permits have free access to the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines. You don't even need an appointment, every hospital is open to the public for vaccination.
But not even 30% of the population is fully vaccinated. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced yesterday that 40 million have already received their first dose but still it is not enough.
People are hesitant to get vaccinated as a number of conspiracy theories continue to create the perfect storm.
Theoretically, the choice falls into the realm of personal freedoms. However, those who resist vaccination are not only affecting themselves but the rest of society as well.
The more cases rise, the more difficult it is to keep the economy working and schools open. One of the biggest fears is that restrictions will be reintroduced in the fall.
Restaurants and cafes are calling for mandatory vaccines for their workers and customers, which I think is a good proposal. I think that this can also be discussed for teachers. Unvaccinated teachers pose a threat to children so it could become obligatory for teachers to get vaccinated if they want to return to work.
Let me remind you that in Turkey normalization began on July 1 and we managed to subdue the number of cases to around 5,000 daily. However, with the delta variant, the rise across the country is worrying.
Unfortunately, this is not unique to Turkey. In Britain, the daily number of cases stands at around 30,000. With the normalization, the numbers started to rise.
However, the world can not continue like this. The only solution is for societies to reach full immunity. That is why it is crucial to start vaccination campaigns globally as this is not a state issue. Everyone's health depends on the number of people getting vaccinated worldwide.
I think that the distribution strategy should also be reconsidered. Countries without enough vaccines should be helped. In Turkey, currently, citizens and residents have access to vaccines but since the country has an abundant supply of jabs, the criteria could be broadened to include long-term visitors.
The more people that are vaccinated, the safer we all are.
We shouldn't ignore the difficulties another lockdown in the fall of 2021 would bring. It will be difficult for the economy and even more difficult for the children missing out on face-to-face education.
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