Local jab Turkovac as effective as Sinovac: Experts
Phase three studies have shown that Turkovac, the locally developed inactivated vaccine against COVID-19, is “at least as effective as” the Chinese company Sinovac’s jab, experts have said.
Turkey at the end of December 2021 rolled out the homegrown jab after local authorities gave their approval for emergency use.
The country launched its vaccination program in January last year with Sinovac’s jab and later added the mRNA shot developed by Pfizer/BioNTech to its inoculation drive.
“The two vaccines have the same side effects. Turkovac is as safe as Sinonac’s CoronaVac,” said Prof. Dr. Mine Durusu Tanrıöver from the Hacettepe University Vaccine Institute in a press conference in Ankara on Jan. 12.
The purpose of the study was to test the effectiveness of two doses of Turkovac and two doses of CoronaVac vaccines administered against COVID-19 on the volunteers aged between 18 and 55, Tanrıöver explained.
Half of the volunteers were given the Turkovac and another half received the CoronoVac shots 28 days apart, she said.
“The study included the results collected from the volunteers who took part in the tests between June 22 and Dec. 27, 2021. A total 2,444 people were given both vaccines under the study. Excluding those who did not follow the protocols, the efficacy tests were conducted on 1,182 volunteers.”
The follow-up period for Turkovac was 108 days in the phase three trials whereas it was 43 days for the Sinovac vaccine, Tanrıöver added.
Among those 1,008 volunteers who were part of the efficacy tests, 69 people tested positive for COVID-19.
“Twenty-three of them were those that were given Turkovac. The positive care rate was 4.55 percent for Turkovac and 8.96 percent for CoronaVac. Based on this, the locally developed vaccine is 49 percent more effective than CoronaVac,” she said.