The emergency authorization application for the domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, Turkovac, has been submitted to the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TİTCK), Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced.
“I would like to share a piece of good news to our citizens: Our domestic inactive COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac has applied for emergency authorization as of today,” Koca said during a meeting at the Turkish parliament.
The minister also noted that every stage of Turkovac, from cell to vaccine, was developed in Turkey and by Turkish scientists, adding he hoped the shot would be available for use by the end of this year.
Locally-made Turkovac was developed by a team of scientists in cooperation with the Presidency of Turkish Health Institutes (TÜSEB) and Kayseri Erciyes University, and its phase 3 human trials started in June.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, said on Twitter that Turkey had offered to take in COVID-19 patients to support European countries with overwhelmed health systems and intensive care units.
Kluge thanked the Turkish authorities for their contribution.
Responding to Kluge’s tweet, Koca said Turkey would donate a further 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX facility, an initiative meant to deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
Earlier, Koca said that new treatment methods would now be put into use to control the pandemic.
Speaking after a meeting of the country’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, Koca stressed that the use of Favipiravir would be terminated and that the physician of a person may decide on the indication for use in the next period according to the clinical condition of the patient.
He announced that it was decided to add the drug Molnupiravir to Turkey’s COVID-19 treatment guide, adding that it will be used as soon as the supply of the drug is provided for the appropriate patient groups.
Turkey’s confirmed that cases of the coronavirus increased by 27,592 in the past 24 hours and that 175 more people died, the Health Ministry announced on Nov. 24.
The ministry’s infographic said that some 28,285 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.
It also added that 364,351 tests were conducted over the past day.
The infographic also showed that Turkey has so far administered over 119.7 million doses since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January.
More than 56.1 million people have received their first doses, while over 50.1 million have been fully vaccinated.
The number of people who have received their third COVID-19 vaccine doses crossed 12 million.