The Minister of Health, Dr Fahrettin Koca chaired the first meeting of the Joint Vaccine Study Group. The meeting was attended by scientists in Turkey engaged in vaccine development efforts, the President of Turkish Health Institutes (TUSEB), Prof Erhan Akdoğan, the President of the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Board (TUBITAK), Prof Hasan Mandal and representatives from the ministry.
Minister Koca began his words by saying, "Turkey's hope is in this very room." Noting that 14 centers across Turkey were working on developing a vaccine against COVID-19, Koca continued, "We will rapidly evaluate what is going to be discussed here today and act on it."
Pointing out that it was necessary to rapidly work in line with the standards but without too much red tape, Koca added, "The Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency has published a vaccine guide last week. This guide outlines in detail what needs to be done before pre-clinical trials. All efforts will be in line with this guide. On the other hand, the first laboratory to employ GLP and where animal trials will take place has just been accredited. This laboratory at Mehmet Akif Ersoy Hospital will be of great added value to Turkey's vaccine, drug and medical device efforts.
Following his speech, the Minister received detailed information from scientists working on vaccine development at Erciyes, Marmara, Atatürk, Hacettepe, Yıldız Technical, Ege, Ankara, Middleeast Technical, Selçuk, Boğaziçi and Akdeniz universities and Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center. Scientists shared their progress, needs and solutions.