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Coronavirus

Turkey Announces First Local COVID Vaccine

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president has announced the country’s first local vaccine in development against COVID-19 would be called TURKOVAC.

The first dose of the vaccine’s third phase trial was administered to a male volunteer Tuesday in a videoconference by the health minister, professors and Turkey’s president. The health minister said Phase 1 and 2 trials showed the vaccine’s safety and immune response.

TURKOVAC is using an “inactivated virus” technology and was developed at Erciyes University. Other vaccine developments continue in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it is imperative to have a local vaccine that Turkey would use in the country and export to others.

Turkey is currently using vaccines from China’s Sinovac and Pfizer-BioNTech. Russia’s Sputnik V will also be used. More than 43,5 doses have been administered with the age category lowered to 25 on Tuesday.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the vaccine is the “pride of the nation.”

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