Turkey Vaccination Policy: A Comprehensive Overview
As of September 2023, there is no vaccination mandatory for Turkey. This includes any requirements for COVID-19. There is no yellow fever or malaria vaccination requirement either. In general, Turkey is a safe and disease free country.
Common vaccines that are sometimes requires
- Yellow fever: A vaccine that protects against a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical regions of Africa and South America. Some countries require proof of vaccination for entry, especially if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Turkey does not require yellow fever vaccination.
- Polio: A vaccine that protects against a viral infection that can cause paralysis and death. Some countries require proof of vaccination or a booster dose for travelers who are coming from or have recently visited countries with polio outbreaks. Turkey does not require polio vaccination for travelers, but it is recommended as part of the routine immunization schedule.
- Meningococcal: A vaccine that protects against a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and septicemia. Some countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, require proof of vaccination for travelers during certain seasons or for pilgrims to Mecca. Turkey does not require meningococcal vaccination for travelers, but it is recommended for certain groups, such as students, military personnel, and health care workers.
- Cholera: A vaccine that protects against a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. Some countries may require proof of vaccination for travelers who are visiting areas with cholera outbreaks or who are humanitarian workers. Turkey does not require cholera vaccination for travelers, but it is available for those who are at high risk of exposure.
- COVID-19: A vaccine that protects against the coronavirus disease that has caused a global pandemic since 2019. Some countries may require proof of vaccination or a negative test result for travelers who are entering or leaving their borders. Turkey does not require COVID-19 vaccination for travelers, but it is strongly recommended for all eligible travelers. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must show a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 hours of entry.
The History of Vaccination Requirements
The 1944 International Sanitary Convention was an agreement signed by 64 countries in Washington, D.C. on December 15, 1944. It was a revision of previous conventions from 1926 and 1933 that aimed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases across borders. The convention established rules and regulations for quarantine, sanitation, and vaccination of travelers and goods. One of the main provisions of the convention was the requirement of a valid certificate of vaccination against smallpox for travelers departing to or arriving from countries with risk of smallpox transmission.
Smallpox was a highly contagious and deadly disease caused by the variola virus. It was characterized by fever, headache, and a rash of pus-filled blisters that covered the body. Smallpox killed about 30% of those infected and left many survivors with permanent scars and blindness. Smallpox was endemic in many parts of the world until the 20th century, when a global vaccination campaign led by the World Health Organization (WHO) began in 1959. The campaign used a strategy of surveillance and containment, which involved identifying and isolating cases, tracing and vaccinating contacts, and providing health education and social support.
The last naturally occurring case of smallpox was reported in Somalia in 1977. In 1980, the WHO declared that smallpox had been eradicated from the world, making it the first disease to be eliminated by human intervention. As a result, the requirement of a certificate of vaccination against smallpox for international travel was cancelled in 1981, and the new form of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) did not include any provision for smallpox vaccination. The only remaining stocks of the variola virus are kept in two secure laboratories in Russia and the United States for research purposes.
Tips for staying healthy while traveling to Turkey
- While you are in Turkey, avoid drinking tap water or ice made from it, as it may be contaminated with bacteria or parasites. Drink only bottled or boiled water, or use a water filter or purifier.
- Also avoid eating raw or undercooked food, especially meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, use insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on your skin and clothing. Sleep under a mosquito net or in an air-conditioned room with screened windows and doors.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk. It gets really sunny in Turkey.
- To prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses, limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
Medicines to bring with you, for good measure
If you want to be medically prepared for your trip, bring these things with you. Not all countries have 24/7 pharmacies. What’s more, it might be really hard to find a pharmacy in a foreign land, especially if you don’t know the language or symbols. Here are things to pack, for good measure.
- A basic first aid kit, including bandages, gauze, antiseptic, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, and painkillers.
- A prescription for any medication that you take regularly or may need in case of an emergency, such as asthma inhalers, insulin, epinephrine, or antibiotics. You should also bring enough supply of your medication for the duration of your trip, as well as a copy of your prescription in case you lose or run out of your medication.
- A travel health insurance card or policy that covers medical expenses and evacuation in case of a serious illness or injury. You should also bring the contact details of your insurance provider and a local emergency number.
- A medicine for diarrhea, such as loperamide or bismuth subsalicylate. Diarrhea is a common problem for travelers in Turkey, especially if they eat or drink contaminated food or water. A medicine for diarrhea can help reduce the symptoms and prevent dehydration.
- A medicine for motion sickness, such as dimenhydrinate or meclizine.
- A medicine for allergies, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids.
- A sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and a lip balm with SPF. Sunburn and heat-related illnesses are common risks for travelers in Turkey, especially during the summer months. A sunscreen and a lip balm can help protect your skin and lips from the harmful effects of the sun.
What is a travel clinic?
A travel clinic is a medical facility that specializes in providing preventive medical care to travelers. They offer a variety of services, including vaccinations, medications, and travel advice. Travel clinics can help you stay healthy and safe while traveling abroad.
Here are some of the services that a travel clinic may offer:
- Vaccinations against diseases that are common in the countries you are visiting
- Medications to prevent malaria, traveler’s diarrhea, and other travel-related illnesses
- Travel advice on health risks, climate, and customs
- Assistance with obtaining visas and other travel documents
- Emergency medical evacuation services
If you are planning to travel abroad, it is a good idea to visit a travel clinic at least six weeks before your trip. This will give you enough time to get the necessary vaccinations and medications.
What are the infectious diseases?
Infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. They can be spread through contact with an infected person or animal, contaminated food or water, or insect bites. Infectious diseases can range from mild to severe, and some can be fatal.
Some of the most common infectious diseases include:
- Cold and flu: These are caused by viruses and are spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- Diarrhea: This can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites and is spread through contaminated food or water.
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR): These are caused by viruses and are spread through respiratory droplets.
- Chickenpox: This is caused by a virus and is spread through contact with the fluid from chickenpox blisters.
- Hepatitis B and C: These are caused by viruses and can be spread through contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
- HIV/AIDS: This is caused by a virus and is spread through contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk.
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. Vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened or inactive form of the disease, which helps the body develop immunity to the disease. Vaccines are safe and effective, and they have helped to save millions of lives.
Vaccines are given in a variety of ways, including injections, oral drops, and nasal sprays. The specific type of vaccine and the way it is given will vary depending on the disease it is protecting against.
Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent infectious diseases. They are safe and effective, and they have helped to save millions of lives. If you are not vaccinated, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.
Turkey COVID-19 Vaccination
The COVID-19 vaccination program in Turkey began in January 2021. As of September 2023, more than 57 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 53 million people have been fully vaccinated. The two vaccines that are currently being used in Turkey are the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine and the BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. The vaccination program is open to everyone over the age of 18.
The government of Turkey is strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is not mandatory, but it is a requirement for certain activities, such as travel and employment. The government has also implemented a number of measures to make it easier for people to get vaccinated, such as providing free vaccines and transportation to vaccination centers.
The COVID-19 vaccination program in Turkey has been successful in reducing the number of cases and deaths from the virus. However, the government is still urging people to get vaccinated, as the virus continues to pose a threat.
What are the vaccine-preventable diseases?
Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) are infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. These diseases can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. VPDs can be serious and can even be fatal.
Some of the most common VPDs include:
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for international public health. The WHO’s Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals department is responsible for targeting vaccine-preventable diseases, guiding immunization research and establishing immunization policy.
The WHO recommends that all countries vaccinate their children against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B. The WHO also supports countries in developing and implementing immunization programs.
The WHO has been a leading advocate for vaccination and has played a major role in the global eradication of smallpox. The WHO is also working to eradicate polio and to reduce the burden of other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent infectious diseases and save lives. The WHO is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe and effective vaccines.
In conclusion, Turkey has no vaccination requirements and travellers should bring some basic first aid items with them as well as any medication they’d need in an emergency. It’s also good to bring sunscreen, as the sun in Turkey is very strong, at times. Also, watch out for the water and food poisoning.
The Law on the Prevention of Communicable Diseases authorizes the Ministry of Health to issue regulations on vaccination. The Regulation on Vaccinations lists the vaccines that are recommended or required for children and adults. The Regulation on the Protection of Personal Health Data protects the privacy of individuals’ health information, including vaccination records.
While vaccination is not mandatory in Turkey, it is strongly encouraged by the government. Children who are not vaccinated may be denied admission to school or daycare. Adults who are not vaccinated may be denied certain jobs or travel opportunities.