Turkey begins Phase III trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccine

Turkey begins Phase III trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccine
The vaccine candidate will later be administered to volunteers with chronic diseases. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 16 September 2020

Turkey begins Phase III trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccine

Turkey begins Phase III trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccine
  • The vaccine will be administered to between 1,200-1,300 health workers over 10 days
  • A second dose will be given 14 days after the first

ISTANBUL: Turkey began final Phase III trials of an experimental Chinese coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, Turkish media reported.
The vaccine will be administered to between 1,200-1,300 health workers over 10 days and a second dose will be given 14 days after the first, broadcasters CNN Turk and Haberturk said.
The results of the trial will be sent the World Health Organization (WHO).
The vaccine candidate will later be administered to volunteers with chronic diseases, with the aim of vaccinating 13,000 people, the broadcasters said.
The health ministry did not comment on the reports.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca is due to hold a news conference later in the day.
Koca announced last week that Phase III work had started on the Chinese vaccine candidate, as well as another developed by Pfizer. Russia’s application to conduct Phase III trials in Turkey for its experimental vaccine was being evaluated and a decision would likely be made this week, he said.
China is administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to tens of thousands of its citizens, attracting international interest, despite experts’ concerns over the safety of drugs that have not completed standard testing.
China launched a vaccine emergency use program in July, offering three experimental shots developed by a unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and US-listed Sinovac Biotech.
A fourth coronavirus vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
Haberturk said the vaccine candidate being trialled in Turkey was developed by Sinovac.


Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections
Updated 24 min 10 sec ago

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections

Italy lauds decree on Palestinian elections
  • Italy’s government said it is “ready to support, along with the EU, the Palestinian electoral process"

ROME: Italy has welcomed the signing of a decree by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to hold general elections this year, and urged Israeli authorities to facilitate their holding in all Palestinian territories.

“We are talking about a positive development to ensure the rights of the Palestinian people and strengthen local authorities, to which Italy continues to provide constant support, including through targeted programs of bilateral cooperation,” said a spokesman for Italy’s Foreign Ministry.

Elections “would contribute to strengthening the legitimacy of, and international confidence in, Palestinian institutions,” he added. Italy’s government said it is “ready to support, along with the EU, the Palestinian electoral process.”

The upcoming Palestinian elections would be the first in 15 years. Elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) will be held on May 22, and presidential elections will be held on July 31.

A 120-seat Parliament will be formed. Voting will take place both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies said the decree by Abbas represents an “important opening” for US President-elect Joe Biden.

“It is good news for the entire Middle East, where Italy has always been an advocate for peace, dialogue and stability,” it added.