coronavirus vaccine, laboratory

Turkey begins human testing of a coronavirus vaccine

Turkish scientists have been working on 8 possible vaccines against the coronavirus, and one of them will be tested in humans.

Turkey has made significant progress in the development of coronavirus drugs and vaccines thanks to collaboration between universities and public and private companies, and has already started testing in humans a possible vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, announced on Sunday Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Turkey has become the third country after the United States and China in terms of vaccine development, according to the WHO,” Erdoğan said during an opening ceremony in Gebze, a district of Kocaeli province located outside of Istanbul, of a centre of the Council of Scientific and Technological Research of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) dedicated to health and research.

“The COVID-19 Turkey Platform, founded by TÜBİTAK, is currently working on eight different vaccines and 10 other medicine projects (on the COVID-19 pandemic),” explained the Turkish president during the opening ceremony, where he announced that animal tests of two possible vaccines against the virus have been completed, and one of them has received the approval of the ethics committee and has started the clinical trial phase in humans.

TÜBİTAK has invested 2.3 billion Turkish liras -about 270 million euros- in development projects for 16 vaccines and other medicines over the past five years; projects dedicated to the study of the coronavirus in Turkey currently include 225 researchers from 25 universities in the country, as well as 8 public research centres and 8 private companies.