Reuters - Duvar English
Hospitals in Turkey started to administer homegrown COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac on Dec. 30.
After getting Turkovac shots, citizens said they were waiting for Turkovac.
One of the citizens who had two dozes of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in Ankara said “Yesterday the Health Minister had the booster shot of vaccine (Turkovac). Since we trust our scientists and doctors, I preferred the homegrown vaccine as the booster shot.”
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca received his booster shot of the homegrown COVID-19 vaccine Turkovac in the Ankara City Hospital following a virtual meeting of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board on Dec. 29.
“We dedicate our homegrown vaccine, Turkovac, to all our citizens who lost their lives due to the pandemic,” said Koca after vaccination.
He called on people to be inoculated, saying "I strongly advise our people to be vaccinated with Turkovac, and especially to have a booster shot of it.”
Bilim Kurulu Üyelerimizle beraber hatırlatma dozlarımızı TURKOVAC aşımız ile oluyoruz.— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) December 29, 2021
📍Ankara Şehir Hastanesi https://t.co/D8BFSQnoC7
The minister also warned of the rise in coronavirus cases recently, citing people spending more time indoors during winter and the omicron variant spreading rapidly.
He, however, said there has been no increase in hospitalizations.
The vaccine received emergency use approval earlier this month and has joined Pfizer-BioNTech's messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine and Sinovac's inactive jab already in use in the country.
Earlier this week, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) asked the Health Ministry to share scientific reports documenting that Turkovac is “safe” and “effective.”
It pointed out that no scientific paper had been yet issued with regards to the Phase 3 studies of the Turkovac. It also said that the emergency use approval of Turkovac was granted by an institution that did not have a scientific independence and administrative autonomy -- the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency.
Turkey has administered more than 130.61 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched an immunization drive in January, according to official figures released on Dec. 29.
More than 56.86 million people have received the first jab, while over 51.53 million have been fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry said.
Turkey has also given third booster shots to more than 18.34 million people.
The ministry also confirmed 36,684 new COVID-19 infections, 142 deaths, and 25,638 recoveries over the past day.
As many as 366,363 virus tests were done in the past 24 hours.