Turkey has started initiatives at the World Health Organization (WHO) for use of the country’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac, the country's senior health authority said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
The inactive vaccine, developed in cooperation with Erciyes University in Kayseri province and the Presidency of Turkish Health Institutes (TUSEB) of the Health Ministry, has reached the stage of mass production in a period of 20 months, Erhan Akdogan, the head of TUSEB, told Anadolu Agency.
Noting the importance of obtaining the "right information" on the vaccine jabs, Akdogan said the states that primarily produce the vaccines can start vaccination in their own country after obtaining permission from their local authorities.
"The next step is to apply to the WHO. This is also a (separate) process. We launched the necessary initiatives as part of the WHO for our country's vaccine application, which was approved for emergency use during Phase 3 clinical studies. Currently, we are receiving feedback from the WHO, and an application will be made to the WHO by providing the requested documents from them," he said.
He underlined that from the first stages of the pandemic, domestic vaccine studies began in Turkey.
“As TUSEB, we supported seven domestic vaccine projects by evaluating them immediately in the first days of the pandemic.
“Of these projects, our vaccine, which our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) has named ‘Turkovac,’ became the first vaccine to be turned into a product,” he added.
Mentioning that Turkey has achieved significant success “both in the field of biotechnology processes and in the field of vaccines,” Akdogan said “Turkovac will be a very serious pioneer in the development, production and dissemination of other vaccines and biotechnological products that we need in the next process.”
After all the necessary processes that the domestic vaccine passed through, “the results that our vaccine is effective and safe in large-scale applications were submitted to the local authority and emergency use approval was obtained.”
Akdogan encouraged non-vaccinated people to get their jabs not only for the own benefit but also for not infecting their relatives and loved ones with the disease.