Turkey: The (digital) vaccination certificate – is Turkey getting back to the (new) normal?

How is the vaccination sequence regulated in Turkey?

Chinese manufacturer Sinovac’s vaccine "CoronaVac" is being administered in all hospitals and healthcare centres. In the first phase, employees in the healthcare sector, persons living in nursing homes and all persons over 65 were vaccinated. After vaccination of this group, primarily employees are vaccinated in ministries, prisons, the education and transport sectors, as well as all persons between 50 and 64 years of age. In the last phase, those who are younger than 50 years of age and have chronic diseases will first be vaccinated, and then all other groups will be vaccinated one after the other. The vaccine is administered in two doses at 28-day intervals; there are currently no known shortages in vaccine supply.

Should there be special rights for "vaccinated persons" in Turkey?

There is currently no regulation in Turkey which excludes vaccinated people from restrictions. The Turkish Physicians' Association has mutually recommended maintaining the precautionary measures, since the vaccine does not offer 100% protection against the disease. The measurement of the antibody level of the vaccinated persons could be a criterion for the exemption of restrictions, but this topic is not currently on the agenda, since the vaccinated persons make up a very small portion of the population.

The admissibility of access easements for vaccinated persons is currently not seriously debated in Turkey. In view of the fact that this would result in discrimination against those who have not yet been vaccinated due to the vaccination sequence, such a disadvantage is rejected for ethical reasons. However, it is possible that the vaccination will become a prerequisite or preference criterion for hiring new employees.

Is the (digital) vaccination certificate coming to Turkey?

So far, there is no demand for a vaccination certificate. In addition, the vaccination certificate is criticised from the medical, legal and ethical perspective, since the vaccine does not offer 100% protection; it is not certain how long the immunity lasts and whether the vaccine prevents others from being infected; reasons of data security speak against a vaccination certificate; and there is a risk of further deepening inequality and discrimination within society. However, every person living in Turkey must generate a HES code (this is generated electronically via mobile application) and show it, for example, in order to be able to enter public transport, offices and authorities, shopping malls, etc. or to book a flight ticket. The HES code indicates whether a person was reported as infected or vaccinated

Autor: Senem Kathrin Güçlüer