Turkey authorises use of own Turkovac vaccine

Published: 07:32 PM, 22 Dec, 2021
Turkey authorises Turkovac vaccine
Caption: Turkey authorises use of own Turkovac vaccine.
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday announced the emergency use approval of Turkey's first domestically-developed coronavirus vaccine.

In June, Turkovac entered Phase III trials involving 40,800 participants in Turkey. No official data about its efficacy have been released.

But the health ministry's coronavirus advisory board member Ates Kara told Turkish media that it was "very successful" and could be "a little better in comparison with other inactivated vaccines".

"No individuals vaccinated with Turkovac have had a severe form of Covid-19 requiring hospitalisation or intensive care so far," Kara was quoted as saying last weekend.

Developers said the Turkovac vaccine works along the same scientific principles as China's CoronaVac, which Turkey has been using since the start of the year.

Turkey has officially recorded 80,000 Covid-19 deaths and 9.2 million virus infections.

Hosting a major summit of African leaders, Erdogan last weekend pledged to send 15 million vaccine doses to countries in the world's poorest continent.

"We will be pleased to share this vaccine with all humanity," he said Wednesday in televised remarks.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Turkovac "will be in widespread use" in Turkey from next week.

The nation of 84 million has administered at least one vaccine dose to 56.7 million people.

More than 51 million have received two doses and another 15 million have received a third booster shot.

Turkey has largely avoided lockdowns, requiring people instead to wear masks outdoors and in all public spaces, and using an app-based health pass system for the use of public transport.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.