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Turkey launched human trial of first locally-made COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey launched human trial of first locally-made COVID-19 vaccine

Scientists at Erciyes University in central Turkey’s Kayseri launched Thursday a human trial of ERUCOV-VAC, an inactive vaccine candidate against the coronavirus.

A volunteer was injected with the first dose and 43 others, who are between the ages of 18 and 55 and have not been infected with the virus, will follow.

The trial comes at a time when Turkey strives to speed up vaccine development on its own while also testing imported vaccines on volunteers.

The university was among the venues for the development of a locally-made vaccine since the outbreak made its foray into Turkey in March.

Scientists at the university’s Vaccine Research and Development Center (ERAGEM) joined forces with the private company, Koçak Farma, which undertook serial production work for the vaccine.

After a Health Ministry approval, the Phase I trial began, the university said in a written statement Thursday.

Nazif Durna, the first volunteer to receive the ERUCOV-VAC vaccine, said he wanted to be “a hope for people.”

University president Professor Mustafa Çalış said the vaccine candidate wrapped up pre-clinical studies and they planned to complete Phase I trials by early January. Volunteers will have a second dose of the vaccine with an interval of three weeks after the first inoculation.