Turkovac protects against the Alpha and Delta variants of the coronavirus and trials on its effects against the Omicron variant are ongoing, the head of the center that developed the Turkish COVID-19 vaccine has said.
“Turkovac is an indigenous vaccine. We believe in our product,” Aykut Özdarendeli, the director of ERAGEM, the vaccination center affiliated with Erciyes University, said in a conference in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Jan. 25.
Announcing the latest developments on the domestically developed Turkovac vaccine, Özdarendeli said, “Our research on the coronavirus variants continue. We have discovered that Turkovac is effective against the Alpha and Delta variants.”
The center is still investigating the vaccine’s effects against the Omicron variant, the expert added.
Turkovac’s application for emergency use authorization was filled and approved on Nov. 25, 2021. Phase I trials of the vaccine started in November 2020 with 44 participants. The officials started the Phase II trials in February 2021 as the Phase III trials began in June 2021.
“Normally, the process of the Phase I trials lasts around a year. But we have carried out all the processes and made the vaccine ready for use between 18 and 20 months,” he noted.
When asked how ERAGEM researchers achieved this, he said, “We, as a team, have been researching the Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever together since 2010. So, we were ready to start surveying the coronavirus.”
Turkey has the sufficient human power to respond to the pandemic and epidemics, Özdarendeli remarked.
The country has administered more than 141 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched an immunization drive in January 2021.
More than 57.3 million people have gotten the first jab, while over 52.3 million have received the second shot.
The number of people who were given third booster shots reached 24.4 million people.