Founders of Turkovac working on COVID-19 strains

Founders of Turkovac working on COVID-19 strains

Founders of Turkovac working on COVID-19 strains

Within the scope of efforts to look for a viable solution to new emerging coronavirus variants that could creep uncertainties globally, the team that developed Turkey’s homegrown vaccine, Turkovac, has initiated works on the evolution of the virus and how to overcome it.

“Turkovac has proved to be effective against the alfa and delta strains. Our work on the Omicron variant of the virus is ongoing at full speed,” said Professor Aykut Özdarendeli, the head of the Vaccine Research and Development Center at Erciyes University.

Local authorities approved inactivated Turkovac for emergency use at the end of 2021, and now, it is being administered to citizens along with the mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and the Chinese company Sinovac’s inactivated jab.

Özdarendeli recalled that work began at their center, which was established in 2013, to find a vaccine against COVID-19 as soon as the pandemic hit the world. “We were ready and prepared when the coronavirus emerged. We managed to isolate the virus in March 2020, followed by clinical tests for the vaccine candidate,” he said, noting that Phase 3 studies, which began in June 2021, are still ongoing.

Earlier this month, Özdarendeli said that studies showed three doses of Turkovac provide significant protection against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Thanks to the works that led to the development of Turkovac, a qualified force in terms of experts has started to emerge that can smoothly respond to possible pandemics in the future, he added.


Since Turkey rolled out its vaccination drive in January 2011, more than 146 million doses of the vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered in the county, with nearly 53 million people having been double jabbed.

Over 27 million people have been given a booster shot, while nearly 58 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the decline in the number of daily infections continues to decline, data from the Health Ministry show.

Cases, which climbed to a record high of 100,000 in April last year, have remained consistently below 30,000 since March 10. The improved outlook in the pandemic situation makes experts cautiously optimistic that the country may take a sigh of relief in the summer months.