ISTANBUL, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Some 50 percent of Turkish citizens have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses, data from the country's Health Ministry showed on Friday.
More than 41.5 million people have been inoculated with full doses in the country with a population of 83 million, as part of the ongoing vaccination campaign launched in January with China's Sinovac vaccines.
Turkey later included Pfizer-BioNTech jabs in the program.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that vaccine recipients would be protected from the coronavirus 14 days after the second dose.
"Measures are mandatory for all of us until social immunity would be achieved. Let's not compromise on masks, social distance, and cleaning rules," he added.
In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with a population of over 16.5 million, some 7.3 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Istanbul governor's office.
The rate of those who have got at least one vaccine dose in the city surpassed 82.5 percent, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said.
Celalettin Kocaturk, a thoracic surgery specialist at the Medicana Atasehir Hospital in Istanbul, said that COVID-19 is causing damage to almost all organs, and the extent of its long-term complications is not yet fully known.
"Current data show that many patients suffer from several respiratory problems, including cough, fibrotic lung disease ... and respiratory failure, even months later," he said in a press release, urging people to complete their vaccinations.