Senior Turkish health official says local vaccine to come out soon
Turkey supports six projects on vaccine against the coronavirus, according to a senior health official.
“Currently, six vaccine projects are supported under TUSEB” and two other vaccine projects’ transaction processes are ongoing, Erhan Akdogan, head of Health Institutes of Turkey (TUSEB), told Anadolu Agency.
The projects are being carried out in six Turkish universities including Erciyes, Hacettepe, Yildiz Teknik, Marmara, Ataturk, and Akdeniz.
Among these projects, the vaccine candidate at Erciyes University is at phase 2 trial, Akdogan said.
“Researches are still continuing at the university Scientific processes are underway for the vaccine development. We hope that the vaccine will come out soon,” he said.
A little more time is needed to reveal the preliminary results of the Erciyes University project, he added.
“Both scientists and TUSEB as well as TUBITAK [Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey] provided the necessary support for research and development very quickly and continues to do so,” he added.
The TUSEB began to support scientific projects for the development of vaccines immediately after the first coronavirus case was reported in Turkey, said Akdogan.
Vaccine candidate as nasal spray
While the vaccine candidate developed at the Erciyes University is an inactive one, Akdogan said that many different types of vaccine studies are being carried out in Turkey, including one in the form of a nasal spray.
“This is a new technology in the world as well,” he said, adding that its research and development process continues.
“Human trials have not yet begun for this vaccine candidate. This is a different vaccine developed by a private organization,” he added.
The product will come out after the scientific studies on domestic vaccines are completed, Akdogan said, adding when the phase 3 trial is completed and it gets the necessary approvals from the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, it will go into production and widespread vaccination will be carried out.
“Production will take place in Turkey,” he added.
Akdogan also said that the research teams of the COVID-19 vaccine projects supported by TUSEB came together for a workshop in the capital Ankara on March 21-22.
Pointing out that scientists have gained significant experience in local vaccine researches, Akdogan said that they gathered to collaborate and share experience as well as for interaction among scientists.