A Turkish university administrated the first dose of a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus, namely ERUCOV-VAC, to a human volunteer on Thursday.
Erciyes University in the central Kayseri province said in a written statement that it completed the research and development works supported by the Health Ministry for the inactive COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by Kocak Farma, a pharmaceutical company.
The first dose of the vaccine candidate was administered to volunteer Nazif Durna at the university's clinical center after required approvals were received from the Health Ministry and ethical commission.
A number of clinical research both at the national and international levels were completed for ERUCOV-VAC, developed by academics of Erciyes University.
"I wish to be a hope for humanity, if God wills," said Durna and thanked all academics for their efforts, according to the statement.
Mustafa Calis, the rector of the university, said they aim to complete Phase-1 of the vaccination on Jan. 5, 2021 -- to be administered to the volunteers twice with an interval of 3 weeks.
The university plans to proceed with other phases once the first phase succeeds, Calis added.
ERUCOV-VAC will be administered to 44 more volunteers -- to be selected from healthy individuals between the ages of 18-55, with no COVID-19 medical history.
Turkey has so far registered 384,509 virus cases, including 10,558 deaths and 330,665 recoveries.
Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December, COVID-19 has claimed over 1.22 million lives in 190 countries and regions.
Over 48.17 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 31.93 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
* Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara.