Turkish-made virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against COVID-19 will be available for use by the end of 2021, head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) Hasan Mandal said.
TÜBİTAK oversees the collective and individual efforts of scientists at Turkish universities who are striving to prepare the country’s first vaccine against the deadly disease. It also endorses drug development, and Mandal said two locally-made drugs against the coronavirus will be in use in August.
The VLP vaccine will start the final phase in its development, Phase 3 trials, in August. Mandal told reporters that they plan to start production while the vaccine is in the last stage. He added that it was likely that its jabs would be presented to the public in autumn.
He said two other COVID-19 vaccines were expected to be ready by the end of the year and all had the potential for high efficacy against different variants of the coronavirus.
Mandal said the Phase I trials of the VLP vaccine would be completed by this weekend. “Today, we have 17 projects, including seven vaccine projects (endorsed by TÜBITAK). Three among them are at an advanced stage,” he said. Mandal added that he volunteered for the Phase I trial of the vaccine, along with Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, and said they would receive their second shots this week. “In a few months, the Phase II trials will be over,” he told reporters.
VLP vaccine works by mimicking the coronavirus. Currently, there are four VLP vaccine candidates in the world.