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Turkey advancing toward vaccine: Technology minister

Universities came to phase of animal trials for producing vaccine against novel coronavirus, says technology minister

Deniz Cicek Palabiyik   | 08.05.2020
Turkey advancing toward vaccine: Technology minister

ANKARA

Turkish scientists have come to the animal experiment phase to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the country's technology and industry minister said on Friday.

Three universities came to the animal experimentation stage for recombinant vaccine, and one even launched trials, Mustafa Varank said in a TV appearance.

"We supported 17 vaccine and medicine projects for the COVID-19 treatment, and eight are vaccine development projects," he said.

"After the animal experiments, clinical studies need to be started. We support studies that can go into clinical study by the end of the year," he added.

Saying that the World Health Organization aims to create a €7.5 billion fund ($8.12 billion) to support vaccine efforts, he said this project should be open to the entire world, as all of humanity should benefit from this work.

On Turkey's domestically produced ventilators, he said the production process is continuing without any problems.

Amid the pandemic, many countries faced shortages of medical equipment and mechanical ventilators, which are critical for treating COVID-19.

Turkey launched a project and managed to achieve mass production of mechanical ventilators just in two weeks.

Varank said the country also manufactured these devices for other countries.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed over 272,200 worldwide, with total infections topping 3.9 million, and more than 1.3 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

The virus infected 135,569 persons in Turkey so far, while causing 3,689 deaths, with nearly 86,400 recoveries.

*Writing and contributions by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

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