The COVID-19 booster shot increases protection against the disease, the Turkish health minister said on Wednesday.
In a written statement issued after the virtual meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, Fahrettin Koca said people who have received three shots account for less than 2% of overall coronavirus cases in Turkey.
Nearly 90% of active cases in hospitals are people who have not been vaccinated or received only one jab, he detailed, adding that only 10% of fully vaccinated people are currently receiving hospital treatment.
It is also expected that those who had received two doses of mRNA vaccines would need a booster shot 5-6 months after they got the second dose, he said.
"About 6 million of our citizens are eligible to receive their booster shots," Koca stated, calling on them to "not waste time" to receive their jabs.
Turkey has administered over 99.64 million coronavirus vaccine shots since the country launched an immunization campaign in January, according to official figures released on Wednesday.
Over 50.68 million people in Turkey have gotten their first doses, while more than 39.33 million are fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry said.
The data showed that 81.6% of the country's adult population has received at least one dose of a two-shot vaccine.
Turkey has also given third shots to over 9.2 million people.
The ministry also reported 23,914 new coronavirus cases, while as many as 262 more people died of the disease in the past 24 hours.
Earlier, Koca announced that the first cases of COVID-19 Mu variant were seen in Turkey.
First identified in Colombia this January, the Mu strain has been found in 39 countries so far and was recently classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization.
The variant accounted for less than 0.1% of infections worldwide, but its prevalence in Colombia and Ecuador has been rising and stood at 39% and 13%, respectively, by the end of August, according to the WHO.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.59 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 222.13 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' Johns Hopkins University.