Turkey set to start human trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey set to start human trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey set to start human trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Turkey is set to move onto the human trial phase for two potential vaccines for COVID-19 that are being developed locally, the country’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.

Researches on a vaccine for the deadly disease are presently being carried out at 14 institutions in Turkey, Koca noted, following a meeting of the Domestic Vaccine Joint Working Group held on Oct. 13.

“Tests on animals for five potential vaccines have been completed and human test trials for two of those vaccines will begin,” the minister said.

Works on the vaccine should progress fast without compromising on standards but the efforts should not be hindered by red tape, Koca added.

Significant progress has been made in the pre-clinical and clinical phases of vaccine development, the minister said.

At the meeting, scientists from 11 universities and officials from the Biomedicine and Genome Center briefed the minister on works that are ongoing on the vaccine. 

Initially, human tests will be conducted for two potential vaccines, which are being developed by Erciyes University and Ankara University.

On a related note, the Health Ministry is also launching works to develop a test that could help diagnose flu and COVID-19 patients at the same time.

“Tests for flu and COVID-19 could be run on a single sample from an individual. This test will enable us to differentiate flu patients from COVID-19 patients,” said Professor Serap Şimşek Yavuz from the Health Ministry’s Science Board.

She noted that both the flu and COVID-19 spread in similar ways, thus precautions taken against the coronavirus are considered to lead the lower flu cases as well.