A Turkish university has started to work on developing a native DNA vaccine for coronavirus, the institution's head said on Friday.
In a statement, Necdet Budak, head of Ege University in Izmir province, said that since a licensed vaccine for COVID-19 was not yet available, many countries initiated research on the subject.
Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank also stressed the need for a vaccine, he added.
On Thursday, Varank said that as part of a platform to support projects on vaccine and drug development against COVID-19, several institutions, including Ege University, will be supported.
"At Ege University, we have started to work on a native DNA vaccine upon the call of our ministry," Budak said.
"The Vaccine Research and Development Group, which is established under our Rectorate and centered on Research and Application Center of Drug Development and Pharmacokinetics, has been carrying on vaccine research and development studies against various pathogens for years, with the participation of many universities, public institutions, and industry partners."
Our working group, he added, discussed what could be done against this pandemic, and thus initiated the vaccine project."
Clinical trial of a potential vaccine for the virus began in the U.S. earlier this month.
The first person to get the vaccine, mRNA-1273, was 43-year-old Jennifer Haller from Seattle.
Coronovirus has led to more than 25,000 deaths in 176 countries and regions since last December when the it first emerged in Wuhan, China, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The data shows more than 553,200 cases have been reported worldwide and over 127,500 recoveries.
Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan