Local vaccine ready to go for first human trials: Minister
A 1,000-dose production of the first locally made vaccine to be applied on humans in Turkey will be completed on Oct. 13, the country’s health minister has said.
“The production [of the locally made vaccine] started a week ago on Oct. 2, will be completed on Oct. 13 and will be applied [on humans],” Fahrettin Koca said in an interview with daily Hürriyet.
Koca stated that the vaccine will initially be applied on 44 people determined from various parts of the country.
“Erciyes University has a volunteer pool of 15,000 people. We chose 44 of them. Because there are some features sought in the person to be vaccinated. First of all, [the person] will be a volunteer, will not be ill and will carry some underlying health conditions,” Koca added.
He stressed that the vaccinated volunteers will first go into a five-day quarantine and at the end of this period, re-examinations will be made.
“At the end of these five days, examinations will be made and it will be made sure that there is no virus. We estimate that this process will take two weeks. We will give the first dose on the first day. The second dose will be given on the 21st day,” Koca added.
He said that whether the vaccine is effective or not will be understood as a result of the tests to be performed, the first test will be made 28 days after the vaccine is applied, and the second test will be made 42 days after.
Koca also noted that if positive results are obtained on 44 volunteers, this time, a second stage will be launched, covering 10,000 people.
Turkey will declare asymptomatic COVID-19 cases as of next week
Koca also said that Turkey will start declaring the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases from Oct. 15.
"We will start [releasing the numbers] on [Oct. 15]," he said.
"We will share the cross-sectional screening results even though they show no symptoms. We will report these to the World Health Organisation (WHO)," he added.
Cross-sectional screening tests are being conducted at airports, prisons and to people going abroad among others, Koca also said according to the interview.
Turkey will continue to conduct field screening tests for coronavirus cases, Koca said according to interview.
At a news conference on Sept. 30, Koca said that Turkey was only sharing the number of COVID-19 positive cases with symptoms. He had said that since most who tested positive for the novel coronavirus did not show symptoms, not all cases were patients.