Turkey's locally developed virus vaccine administered to volunteer

The first dose of a possible vaccine for COVID-19, being developed by Erciyes University in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, has been administered to a volunteer.

The vaccine will be tested on 44 people and the first phase will be completed in five to six weeks, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The research and development studies for the vaccine, called ERUCOV-VAC, has been completed and the first phase work of the injection has been launched following a permission from the ethics board and approval from the Health Ministry, according to a statement issued by the university yesterday.

The injection has been developed at a center of the university by its academics and produced by a local pharma company.

The first dose of the vaccine was administered to Nafiz Durna, the volunteer, yesterday.

God willing, I will give hope to people, Durna said.

The vaccine will be tested on volunteers aged between 18 and 55, who had not contracted COVID-19 before.

The preclinic works for the injection has been finalized and the phase 1 work for the vaccine is expected to be completed in early January 2021 and the second phase in human trials will then commence, according to Professor Mustafa Çalış, the dean of Erciyes University.

The potential vaccine will be administered to the volunteers twice with an interval of three weeks.

In a speech he delivered earlier this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey will offer “own vaccines” to the public in spring.

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