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Turkey to start human trials for locally produced COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey to start human trials for locally produced COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey will begin human trials for three locally produced COVID-19 vaccines within 10 days, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Saturday.

Koca’s announcement came during a visit to pharmaceutical companies in the northwestern Tekirdağ province where he examined the laboratory where the vaccine is being developed and received information about the process.

After his tour of the premises, Koca informed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the status of the vaccine and relayed the information in a video call.

“I want to share some good news with you,” Koca told Erdoğan. “You know there are currently 13 vaccines being developed in our country for COVID-19. One of them is spearheaded by our professor Aykut Özdarendeli and backed by the University of Erciyes and our ministry. That vaccine has just completed tests on animals successfully, which concluded the preclinical trials. I wanted to give you the good news that the vaccine has reached the human trial phase.”

The minister explained that the animal trials included 19 animals infected with the coronavirus,10 of them given the vaccine, while nine were placed in a control group without administering the vaccine.

After two weeks, none of the animals injected with the vaccine had died, and their lungs had no traces of the virus, Koca said.