Turkey’s domestic COVID-19 vaccine applies for emergency clearance

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca speaks at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 24, 2020. REUTERS/Cagla Durak/File Photo

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ANKARA, Nov. 25 (Reuters) – Turkey’s domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, Turkovac, has applied for emergency clearance, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday, adding he hopes the injection will be completed by the end of the year. would be available for use.

During his ministry’s budget debate in parliament, Koca said work on Turkovac is nearing completion, adding that the shot would mark the first Phase III clinical research project to be conducted entirely by Turkey.

“I’d like to share a piece of good news for our people: Our domestic inactive COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac has applied for emergency clearance as of today,” Koca said.

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His ministry said it had submitted an application to the official Turkish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (TITCK).

Turkey started developing Turkovac this year, but the vaccine launch date has been plagued by delays. President Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will make the shot available worldwide.

Turkey has already delivered nearly 120 million doses of vaccines using injections developed by China’s Sinovac and Pfizer/BioNTech, and more than 50 million have received two doses of the vaccines. It has also started administering booster shots. read more

The daily number of infections in Turkey has hovered around 30,000 since mid-September, while the daily death toll, which peaked at 290 in September, remains around 200. vaccination levels.

World Health Organization Europe director Hans Kluge said on Wednesday that Turkey had offered to admit COVID-19 patients to support European countries with overburdened health systems and intensive care units, thanking Ankara for its contribution.

Responding to Kluge’s tweet, Koca said Turkey would donate an additional 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccines through the COVAX facility.

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Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Alison Williams

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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