Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca attended the Joint Vaccine Symposium with International Participation, organized by Hacettepe University, by video conference method and made the opening speech of the symposium.
Starting his speech by mentioning the importance of preventive medicine, the Minister of Health pointed out that the recent history is a success story written with sacrifices in this sense. Minister Koca noted the following:
“Within the framework of the Expanded Immunization Program, we are among the countries implementing the largest immunization program with 13 antigens. We are one of the countries with the highest vaccination success, where around 1 million 200 thousand children are born annually and according to the size of the population. Even this year, when we are locked in the pandemic struggle, we maintain our success graph of up to 98 percent.
We provide services to protect and improve the health of our citizens at more than 24 thousand points across the country with family physicians and family health workers in more than 8 thousand units and our Community Health Centers. The importance of our strong primary health care services in patient and contact follow-up during the pandemic process has been better understood. "
Stating that masks, distance and cleaning are still the most powerful weapons in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, Minister Koca said, “We insist on the implementation of these measures. Because there is no other known way to get rid of this pandemic yet. We expect and hope to be able to add the vaccine as a powerful tool to these measures in the coming days. "We believe that thanks to the vaccine, we will get rid of this disease that has caused great trouble to the world, and at least we will be able to control the epidemic strongly."
Regardless of Turkey's economic burden, safe and well proven, conditions of our country in the easiest and most widely applicable to provide alternative vaccines starting from the vaccine underlined that showed great zeal husband, spoke as follows:
“At the point we have reached, I have shared with the public that we have signed our contract for the supply of the inactive virus vaccine that we have been making since our childhood. I hope it will be delivered in the next few days.
Our scientists and our Ministry are concerned with the reliability and effectiveness of the vaccine, not the origin, by staying away from discussions that lack scientific basis. Therefore, the short and long term reliability and impact of the vaccines we will use will determine the concrete steps to be taken.
Vaccine studies in Turkey, has already mobilized resources like many developed countries. Today, 19 different vaccine studies are conducted against Covid-16 in our country. Among our domestic vaccine candidates, there are "inactive", "mRNA", "vector" and "virus-like particle" vaccines.
In the vaccine development studies conducted by our universities and competent centers, 3 of our vaccines have reached the clinical stage, and the vaccine produced by the Kayseri Erciyes University team is about to complete Phase-1 studies. For our other vaccine candidates, the research product is in the production phase in facilities with GMP. If the studies give positive results, we hope to be able to switch to the Phase 3 and widespread application phase of our first vaccine in April.
Until our own studies are completed, we endeavor to provide our citizens with vaccinations at the earliest stage. Our talks continue for both inactivated vaccines and mRNA vaccines.
Perhaps for now, we may not be able to eradicate this virus by achieving the success of the smallpox vaccine, we may not be able to turn it into a disease that our newly trained physicians have never seen such as the effect of diphtheria vaccine, cases such as measles vaccine can be counted by finger, and its complications may not be made that we have never seen.
But we believe in the power of vaccines; We respect the results of research in a scientific framework. We believe that we will get rid of this disease with the vaccine. Within the framework of science, we know that with the appropriate method and effort, human life extends, every baby born starts life healthier, and we can cope with every new disease that emerges. "