REVISES HEADLINE; UPDATES WITH HEALTH MINISTER'S TWEET
By Muhammed Zaid Tuzun
KAYSERI, Turkey ( AA ) - Tests on a Turkish-made coronavirus vaccine are going smoothly, with none of the volunteers testing the vaccine showing any side effects, said the rector of a university in central Turkey on Monday.
Mustafa Calis, the rector of Erciyes University in the Kayseri province, said 44 volunteers have been testing the ERUCOV-VAC vaccine.
"The Phase 1 studies of our vaccine have been ongoing. As of today, 44 volunteers have been vaccinated with it and none of them have had any side effects, which is very important for Phase 1 studies," he said.
The lack of safety concerns in Phase 1 indicates they can start Phase 2 studies soon, he added.
Saying the university's test center is the only one in Turkey doing vaccine trails that are checked internationally, Calis stressed: "We cannot, and will not, compromise on quality. On this condition, I would like to announce the good news that Phase 2 studies will start soon."
He added that he hopes to complete all phases as soon as possible to have a local vaccine.
Hailing the success of possible Turkish vaccines, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter: "There are 15 more candidate vaccines, about which I will share great news."
Since it emerged last December in China, COVID-19 has infected over 58.81 million people and claimed more than 1.39 million lives worldwide, according to a tally by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 37.65 million people have recovered.
* Writing by Dilan Ela Pamuk