Turkey to begin human trials on 3 locally-developed coronavirus vaccines
The minister made the announcement during a visit to
pharmaceutical companies in Turkey's northwestern Tekirdag province, where the vaccines are being developed.
Koca visited the labs over the weekend to report back to Turkey's president on the progress of the vaccine studies.
Late last month, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said two vaccine projects had already completed the animal trial phase during a visit to a pharmaceutical company in Adıyaman province.
Alongside its own vaccine push, Turkey has also trialled a Chinese coronavirus vaccine. Turkey is currently carrying out the third phase of trials on the vaccine, which will be administered to between 1,200-1,300 health workers, according to the Daily Sabah news website.
Turkish authorities say a vaccine could be available in early 2021, with the country carrying out 18 studies in total. The studies comprise eight for vaccine development and 10 drug treatments.
Turkey is currently experiencing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases, with the country's health ministry reporting 1,502 new cases and 59 deaths on Monday.
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The latest numbers bring Turkey's total reported cases to 323,014, with 8,384 deaths.
Turkey's official coronavirus data, however, has been the subject of scrutiny in recent days, after Koca revealed on Thursday that the daily Covid-19 figures published by the ministry since July 29 reflected only patients with symptoms.
The revelation prompted the The World Health Organization to reiterated its call for Ankara to report coronavirus data in line with WHO guidance to "harmonise data collection and response measures".
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