Turkey has switched to a new stage in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon, regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be required for the unvaccinated public for travel and entrance to certain venues. In light of these developments, a digital vaccine pass applied in the United States and some European countries has widespread support in Turkey, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TISK), interviewed employees in the service sector and those who worked from home during the pandemic about their opinions on vaccination and measures against COVID-19. Three out of every four people interviewed for the survey, which covered some 2,000 people, supported a vaccine pass in the country. Currently, the Health Ministry offers unique codes for each individual that documents his or her status as COVID-19 infected or uninfected. A digital app by the ministry also confirms the vaccination status of users.
A vaccine pass allows checking people for their vaccination status and whether they have a negative PCR test result. Eight out of 10 people interviewed agree with the idea of barring people from public spaces if they cannot prove they are vaccinated or not infected. The same majority of interviewees also call for legal sanctions against people who reject getting vaccinated. They also support employers’ restrictions against those who refuse to get vaccinated even if they are properly informed about the benefits of vaccination. On vaccine hesitancy or outright rejection, the survey delved into the mindset behind it. The unvaccinated interviewees justified their opposition mostly with concerns over safety and side effects of vaccines while the rest said they were influenced by opinions of people around him or her against vaccination.
The country administered nearly 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccines during its vaccination program and aims to reach out to more people with awareness campaigns and restrictions for those without their two doses of jabs, at a time of a surge in the number of daily cases.