Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, met with parliamentary correspondents at the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
Minister Koca evaluated the latest situation on the mutated virus and noted that the mutation was spreading faster everyday in Turkey. Koca continued, "Mutated strains spread faster each day. The incidence of the mutation in Turkey has reached 75%. The mutated virus is present in all provinces. We mostly have the UK variant. This strain spreads much faster, but not much else changes.We also have the Brazil and South Africa variants. I have mentioned a case relating to the Brazil variant. Now, we have three. Two in Istanbul and one in Izmir. There are 157 cases with the South Africa variant. As the infectiousness of the variants is higher, we have to stay away from crowds and close contact. It can lead to severe disease among high-risk groups."
"Administration of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine will start in a couple of days"
Noting that the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine will start to be administrated in a few days, Koca said, "Logistic arrangements are complete. 2.8 million doses have arrived. In a week or so, we will have a total of 4.5 million doses. People can also opt for the Sinovac vaccine if they do not wish to take the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine."
"Animal studies of the intranasal vaccine are complete"
With regard to the intranasal spray vaccine against COVID-19, Minister Koca commented,"We have been following this vaccine since the beginning and supporting its work since March 2020. Both preclinical and clinical stages of it is being supported through TUSEB. It prevents infectiousness as it provides mucosal immunity and prevents the entry of the virus. Animal studies are complete. Preparations are also done to ensure GMP conditions. I believe production for research will start in 2 to 3 weeks and when the production is over, we will kick off phase 1 trials with volunteers at Ankara City Hospital."