Phase 3 trials of homegrown COVID-19 vaccine begin
Turkey began administering its national coronavirus vaccine candidate to volunteers on Aug. 25 in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri as part of Phase 3 studies.
The inactivated Turkovac vaccine candidate was jointly developed by the Health Ministry, Health Institutes of Turkey, and Erciyes University (ERU).
ERU Rector Mustafa Çalış said the trials of Turkovac on volunteers began at the university.
The vaccine also began to be applied to volunteers at Kayseri City Hospital on Aug. 25.
“Phase-3 studies will be carried out completely in accordance with world standards. Vaccine effectiveness will be compared accordingly,” said İlhami Çelik, a member of the Coronavirus Science Board.
“We will compare this vaccine with the inactivated vaccine, Sinovac,” Çelik added.
Turkey has administered more than 91.08 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since launching a mass immunization campaign in January, according to official figures.
Koca denies allegations he wasn’t vaccinated
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca denied allegations on social media that no one from his family, including himself, was vaccinated.
“I got the first vaccine in Turkey. Every member of my family has had their vaccinations,” Koca said, lashing out at the fake accounts that made the claim.
Announcing that two unvaccinated doctors died due to COVID-19, Koca once again called on citizens to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, a Turkey-based reproductive health institution recommended that couples planning on having a baby should get the coronavirus vaccine.
The Turkish Reproductive Health Association underlined that pregnant women experience COVID-19 infections more severely, citing data in June from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The rate of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infection increase and the rate of severity is higher during pregnancy,” it said.
It added that the rate of deaths or premature births is twice as much when the mother is infected with the virus.
Due to the rapid increase and contagiousness of the Delta variant, all women planning a pregnancy should receive two doses of a vaccine jab, it said.
The group said no significant adverse effects from the shots on pregnant women have been observed.
It added that vaccines do not have the slightest risk of causing infertility, decreasing the number of sperms, affecting the number of eggs, or the development of embryos.