Turkey advancing toward vaccine: Technology minister

Turkish scientists have come to the animal experiment phase to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the country's technology and industry minister said on May 8. 

Three universities came to the animal experimentation stage for a recombinant vaccine, and one even launched trials, Mustafa Varank said in a TV appearance.

"We supported 17 vaccine and medicine projects for the COVID-19 treatment, and eight are vaccine development projects," he said.

"After the animal experiments, clinical studies need to be started. We support studies that can go into the clinical study by the end of the year," he added.

Saying that the World Health Organization aims to create a €7.5 billion fund ($8.12 billion) to support vaccine efforts, he said this project should be open to the entire world, as all of humanity should benefit from this work.

On Turkey's domestically produced ventilators, he said the production process is continuing without any problems.

Amid the pandemic, many countries faced shortages of medical equipment and mechanical ventilators, which are critical for treating COVID-19.

Turkey launched a project and managed to achieve mass production of mechanical ventilators just in two weeks.

Varank said the country also manufactured these devices for other countries.

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