Turkish vaccine Turkovac receives emergency approval

Turkey's coronavirus vaccine TURKOVAC has been approved for emergency use. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the production of the vaccine has started.

Turkovac, an inactive vaccine like Sinovac, was developed in collaboration with Erciyes University and the Turkish Institutes of Health (TÜSEB).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the ceremony, which was held in a laboratory in Şanlıurfa, for the emergency use approval of the TURKOVAC vaccine and the start of production of the vaccine, via live connection.

Stating that they are happy for the production of TURKOVAC, Turkey's first coronavirus vaccine, Erdoğan congratulated those involved in the development and production of the vaccine.

Erdogan said, "Moreover, it is much more meaningful that this vaccine is a product developed entirely by our own scientists and researchers and whose patent belongs to us.”

“During the epidemic, we shared our medical supplies, especially masks, with 160 countries and 12 international organizations around the world. We also send some of the vaccines we receive from other places to some countries in urgent need. Together with the production of TURKOVAC, we will be pleased to share this vaccine with all humanity."

President Erdoğan said that the domestically developed vaccine TURKOVAC could be offered as a third alternative after Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines. Also he said, "I know that some of our citizens are waiting for our own product by taking all the risks to be vaccinated. I invite these citizens to get the TURKOVAC vaccine by making their appointments as soon as possible.”

THE PRODUCTION OF TURKOVAC HAS STARTED

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca speaking at the production facility of the vaccine, as he said public hospitals would start using it after approximately 10 days.

"Our domestic inactive Covid-19 Turkovac vaccine has been approved for emergency use as of today," said Koca, adding:

"We have started production as of today. Thus, we have become one of the 9 countries producing the Covid-19 vaccine. We are now at the point where filling, labeling and packaging are done."

Phase 3 studies, in which Turkovac was tested on thousands of people, started at the end of June.

Ministry of Health Coronavirus Scientific Committee Member Prof. Dr. Ateş Kara said that according to the preliminary data obtained from the clinical studies of the vaccine, the risk of contracting Covid-19 for people with the Turkovac vaccine is lower than for other vaccines.

According to the data shared by Kara, Turkovac vaccine provides two times better protection than Sinovac, another inactivated vaccine administered in Turkey.

In addition, clinical trial results showed that there were no people who received Turkovac severely infected with coronavirus or were admitted to intensive care.

Kara also said that when used as a reminder dose of the vaccine, it is observed that it rapidly raises antibody levels. Accordingly, when used as a Turkovac reminder dose in people who have previously had two doses of vaccines, the level of antibodies increases by more than 4 times.