ANKARA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkey will start COVID-19 vaccination of its citizens above the age of 50 from June 1, since the country receives new batches of jabs, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Wednesday.
In a video message, the minister thanked China for its "support and understanding" with regards to delivering CoronaVac vaccines to Turkey.
Turkey started mass COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine. More than 16,250,000 people have been vaccinated so far.
Turkey on Wednesday confirmed 8,738 new COVID-19 cases, including 681 symptomatic patients, raising the total number of cases in the country to 5,212,123, according to its health ministry.
The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 166 to 46,787, while the total recoveries climbed to 5,057,713 after 12,205 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.
The rate of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients stands at 3.1 percent and the number of seriously ill patients is 1,561 in the country, said the ministry.
A total of 221,214 tests were conducted over the past day, with the overall number of tests in Turkey reaching 53,038,651.
Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case on March 11, 2020.