Fourty percent of Turks do not trust COVID-19 vaccine - survey

Only 38 percent of Turks have faith in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new survey by an Istanbul medical professor and member of the Turkish Ministry of Health's Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board.

Fourty-four percent said they maintained reservations about current vaccines available in the country, while 48 percent said they were concerned with the side effects of the jab, according to a survey conducted with over 4,500 people between April 9-16, Diken news site reported.

Turkey launched a COVID-19 vaccination drive on Jan. 14 and has administered over 19.95 million coronavirus vaccine shots since.

The country remains largely dependent on China's Sinovac vaccine, which has shown varied efficacy readings of between 50.65 percent and 83.5 percent based on trials from Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.

Over 12.16 million people have received their first doses of the vaccine in Turkey, while more than 7.78 million have completed a two-dose course, according to data from the health ministry.

The country is also working on its own vaccine based on a new method called the virus-like particles (VLP),which has recently entered the human trials phase.

The delivery date for Turkey’s other indigenous ERUCOV-VAC jab has been delayed until the summer after initial plans to roll it out this month.

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said they trusted science, while 11 percent said they did not. 

Thirty-three percent of the participants said they trusted alternative medicine while only 28 percent said had faith in medical firms producing the coronavirus vaccine.

The survey found that women were more sceptical of the COVID-19 vaccine than women, and trust in the jab increased with formal education levels, Diken said.