Turkey close to producing its own Covid-19 vaccine

  • 4 weeks   ago
Turkey close to producing its own Covid-19 vaccine

Vaccine studies will enter human trial phase soon, says the Minister for Industry and Technology, Mustafa Varank

Turkey nears the final stages of the novel coronavirus vaccine trials, Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister, Mustafa Varank, said on Sunday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Varank gave information about the Ministry's work against the virus by saying that it had started working to fight Covid-19 and its effect even before its arrival in the country.

Under the leadership of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Varank said “both vaccine and drug development studies continue intensively, with the outstanding efforts of our scientists".

“We have started to reap the fruits of our studies.”

The minister also added that the local synthesis of the Favipiravir drug used in the treatment of Covid-19 was developed by its own scientists.

Human trials phase

The scientific committee has completed the animal trials phase in two vaccines, according to Varank, and they "want to start human trials after the necessary evaluation and the certification of the facilities for the pilot production of these vaccines.”

Varank also mentioned studies and research committed to achieving disease-preventing drugs, is being continuously and intensely carried out by Turkish scientists. 


“I hope we will get important results regarding both the vaccine and the medicine in the coming period and we will share them with the public,” he added.

On the other hand, Mehmet Fatih Kacir, Varank’s Deputy, said: "we hope to see results in the first quarter of 2021."

Turkey recently announced the start of the final stage of trials - Phase III - for an experimental Chinese coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine is to be administered to between 1,200 to 1,300 health workers over 10 days. After this, a second dose is to be given 14 days after the first, Turkish media reported.

The vaccination will later be administered to volunteers with chronic diseases, with the eventual aim of seeing the inoculation of circa 13,000 people.

As well as the Phase III work beginning, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that another vaccination has been developed by Pfizer.

Head of Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty’s department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Dr Fehmi Tabak said that there are two factors involved in ending the pandemic. 

One is more than 50 percent protective immunity within society, and the other is vaccination studies.

Tabak said there are more than 230 vaccine studies continuing around the world, and that thirty of them have now passed onto clinical studies. 

“If the efficacy of the vaccine is shown as a result of the studies, we will enter a period in which vaccination begins all over the world, such as December or January,” he added.