Efforts to develop Turkey’s own vaccine against COVID-19 are ongoing, with researchers reporting that the potential vaccine has “mild side effects.”
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The inactivated Turkovac vaccine is currently being tested on volunteers in Phase III trials at 41 centers in the country’s 28 provinces.
It is given as a booster dose to volunteers who have already received two doses of other vaccines.
“The data shows that Turkovac has mild side effects that are not to be worried about. These are very common side effects with any vaccine, ”said Professor Tuna Demiral of the Ataturk Training and Research Hospital at zmir Katip Çelebi University, one of 41 centers conducting studies for the potential local vaccination.
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 59 who have not contracted the virus and received two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine can volunteer to participate in the studies, he said.
The studies to develop the local vaccine will also provide an opportunity to compare Turkovac to Sinovac vaccine, Demiral said.
Turkey uses both the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinovac in its vaccination campaign launched in mid-January.
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More than 122 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Turkey to date. Over 51 million people received two doses of the vaccine, while around 57 million people received one dose of the vaccine against the deadly virus. In addition, nearly 13 million people received their third booster vaccination.
Meanwhile, the latest data provided by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on December 15 showed that weekly COVID-19 incidence rates have declined in Turkey’s largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
The incidence rate, which measures the number of new infections with the coronavirus per 100,000 residents in Istanbul, fell from nearly 287 between November 20 and November 26 to 269.6 between November 27 and December 3. In Istanbul, almost 75 percent of the adult population live double-stabbed.
The number of cases per 100,000 people fell in the capital from around 203 to 182, while in Izmir, the country’s third largest city by population, the incidence rate fell from 70.7 to 69.6.
Turkey reported the first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 last week.