Erdoğan names domestic COVID-19 vaccine 'Turkovac'

President Erdoğan has named the country's first local COVID-19 vaccine “Turkovac” at an event during which the first dose of the vaccine's third phase trial was administered to a volunteer.

The first dose of the vaccine’s third phase trial was administered to a volunteer on June 22 in a videoconference by President Erdoğan, Health Minister Koca and professors.

Duvar English

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has named the country's indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine “Turkovac,” saying that the shot should be available for use by the end of the year.

Erdoğan made the announcement as he addressed an event on June 22 to mark the inoculation of the first Phase III volunteer with the vaccine, which uses an inactivated virus.

Asked by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca what he thought the name of the new vaccine should be, Erdoğan said: "What goes through my heart is, for easiness in terms of language for everyone, I would say the name 'Turkovac' is appropriate.” 

In response, Koca said: “It is very appropriate sir.”

"It is not clear how long this disease will go on and how much mutation it will go through. It is critical that we have our own vaccine against this disease," Erdoğan also said during the event to which he connected via videoconference. 

Ankara currently administers vaccines developed by Sinovac , as well as by Pfizer and Biontech. Turkey also granted an emergency use authorization for Russia's Sputnik V. People over 25 are eligible for the vaccine.

Turkey has sharply accelerated COVID-19 vaccinations, delivering more than 1 million a day last week and prompting hopes of a rebound in the economy and tourism sector.