COVID-19 bumps are emerging for farmers in the fields in rural Turkey



More than 28 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given across the country, but Turkey’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every day, vaccination teams run up and down the winding roads, braving the chilly weather in the mountain villages, or sweating in awkward protective suits in warm Mediterranean villages to reach those who are unable or unwilling to leave their homes for bumps . The Ministry of Health even started vaccinating farmers who worked in the fields on site. The crews visit the farmers who are reluctant to take their pictures in hopes of convincing them. Although rural areas are more isolated than large cities, the occasional fall – due to people ignoring the rules – threatens profits against the pandemic in these locations.

“We don’t have a car and we have a lot to do,” says Vesile Ayan, a 60-year-old woman who plows her field in the eastern province of Erzincan, and gives reasons why she has not booked a vaccination appointment in the nearest town. Ayan and her husband Hüseyin had “guests” on their field on Monday while they were working. A vaccination team visiting villages to vaccinate those who were unable to leave their homes came across the couple and found they were not vaccinated. They made replacement vaccines and gave their first doses of vaccine in the middle of the field.

Dr. Kübranur Çukadar, a member of the vaccination team, told the Anadolu Agency (AA) that they were looking for people aged 55 and over (the group currently eligible for vaccination) in the village when they saw Vesile and Hüseyin Ayan. “When they agreed, we gave them the first doses. We try to reach as many people as possible, ”she said. Çukadar said their main job is to vaccinate frail, elderly citizens who cannot leave the home or people with chronic diseases. “Vaccination is the only way to overcome the pandemic, along with masks, social distancing and hygiene,” she says.

Vesile Ayan says she is grateful for her vaccine. “May Allah bless our state because it has helped us,” she said.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted Sunday that eligible seasonal workers were given shots in the fields and farms they worked and shared a video with workers who had their doses in western Bilecik province.

In Antalya, where temperatures reached 34 degrees Celsius, the vaccination teams fought against heat and skepticism to achieve a mass vaccination. From greenhouses to fields in this Mediterranean farming hub, crews persistently go everywhere trying to convince those who avoid bumps. About 35 healthcare workers are calling those who skipped their vaccination deadline. When they fail to reach them, or when citizens agree but cannot go to hospitals or clinics, they travel to villages and towns to administer their shots. So far, they have managed to convince 4,240 people to receive their vaccines. Dr. Gülbahar Arslan and her health crew of three go from village to village, from greenhouse to greenhouse in the Aksu district. “We have a lot of greenhouses here in Aksu and people usually work here because it’s harvest time. We are trying to convey to them the importance of getting vaccinated against the pandemic and if they agree we will have spare shots in our pockets and inject them wherever they are, ”she told AA.

Necati Pınar, a 56-year-old worker in a greenhouse, succumbed to the convincing conversation of the crews and finally decided to make an appointment for June. He said he was surprised to find health care crews to pick him up.

Aysel Kurt, who was picking tomatoes in a greenhouse when a vaccination team showed up, also agreed to the shot. “I couldn’t convince you, but the doctors,” greeted her husband Salih, who already had two doses of vaccine. Kurt decided to have a separate room from his wife when she flatly refused to get her push. Eventually, a vaccination team visiting their Antalyas Serik neighborhood served the mission.

An exchange between the crew and Aysel Kurt shows how unfounded rumors increase people’s reluctance to vaccinate. “I do not want it. I am scared of having a needle in my skin. I heard it had side effects. There is shoulder pain. I pick tomatoes every day so I can’t have it, ”Kurt argued. Dr. Abdullah TopçuoÄŸlu convinced them that the vaccine had minor side effects and that any serious effect could be alleviated with simple pain relievers.

“People die from this disease. That is serious. The vaccine is the only way to end this, ”he said to Kurt. This time Kurt said she didn’t want a “Chinese” or “German” vaccine related to CoronaVac and Pfizer-BioNTech, and she wanted a Turkish vaccine. TopçuoÄŸlu patiently explained to her that Turkish vaccines were still being developed and that the two imported vaccines were her only resource. “These vaccines are good and effective. You see, your husband had two shots and nothing happened to him, ”he said to her. Eventually Aysel agreed to Kurt, and to persuade her further, the crew waited with her for half an hour to show that there were no side effects.

“I was surprised to see they come all the way for me in this hot weather. It really moved me. When they talked to each other, I was convinced, ”she told AA after her first shot. “You work really hard,” she added.



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