The first batch of domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac has been shipped from Şanlıurfa, a southeastern province where the vaccine was produced, to the Turkish capital after receiving emergency approval following studies on volunteers that demonstrated its efficacy.
Some 150,000 doses of Turkovac were set off for Ankara, accompanied by the applause of employees of the vaccine production facility in the city, while authorities said new batches of the vaccine would be dispatched to other Turkish provinces in the coming days.
Recalling that mass production of the vaccine had started in a laboratory in Şanlıurfa Organized Industrial Zone, Professor Ateş Kara, a member of the country’s Coronavirus Science Board, made a call to locals of the city, which has the lowest fully vaccinated adult population rate in Turkey, to get vaccinated with Turkovac.
“Now we have a vaccine produced in Şanlıurfa. It is a vaccine whose quality is above the world average. For this, I want everyone, especially Şanlıurfa locals, to get shot of our domestic and national vaccine,” Kara said, adding that he also asked those who will have the jab to help.
“I ask those who have this vaccine to give their serum and blood samples. It will be very beneficial for us and the world. This vaccine will reach all communities around the globe,” Kara noted, stressing that citizens should not have apprehensions about the vaccination.
Meanwhile, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca underlined that the results obtained from Turkovac were exciting for the scientific world and made a call to the Turkish people.
“We would like to announce to those who are waiting for Turkovac to get jabbed and to those who will choose Turkovac for their follow-up doses: You will fight in this struggle with your own vaccine,” Koca tweeted.
Turkey has so far administered over 127.3 million doses since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in January. More than 56.7 million people have received their first doses, while over 51.3 million have been fully vaccinated.
The number of people who have received their third COVID-19 vaccine doses crossed 16.2 million.