Phase 1 trials of local vaccine completed
Phase 1 trials of a potential vaccine developed by Erciyes University in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri have been completed without any serious side effects on the volunteers, the dean of the university has said
The first doses of the ERUCOV-VAC vaccine were administered to 44 volunteers in early November and the second doses started to be injected on Nov. 26.
“We finalized the phase 1 trials of the vaccine today. We have not seen any serious side effects of the injection on the volunteers. If everything goes well, we are planning to move to phase 2 trials at the end of December,” said Professor Mustafa Çalış, the dean of Erciyes University, yesterday.
The potential vaccine will be administered to some 200 volunteers in phase 2.
The ERUCOV-VAC vaccine is being developed at the university with support from Turkey’s Institutes of Health Administration (TÜSEB).
A total of 16 different vaccine studies are being carried out in Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week.
“The country’s first indigenous vaccine is expected to be in Phase 3 with widespread application hopefully by April, if tests continue well,” Koca told the lawmakers during the 2021 budget debate in parliament on Dec. 12.
In the vaccine development studies carried out by Turkish universities and authorized centers, three of the vaccines have reached the clinical stage, Koca said, noting that the Erciyes University team was about to complete phase 1 studies.
Turkey is planning to roll out its massive vaccination program with the injections being developed by China at the end of this year.
The first batch of 20 million doses is expected to be received in December and January 2021. The second batch of 10 million doses is expected to arrive in February next year.
The jabs will be administered to some 60 million people, except for pregnant women, people under the age of 18 and those who have recovered from the virus within the past six months.
The injections will be provided to the public free of charge, but vaccination will not be mandatory.
The country needs a total of 100 million doses within three months.
Turkish officials are in touch with Pfizer and AstraZeneca for procuring the vaccines.
If studies prove the Russian vaccine to be safe, then it could also be an option.