Some 13,000 candidates in Turkey will take part in Phase 3 trials for a novel coronavirus vaccine, with 1,200 of these to be healthcare workers, a Turkish scientist said Thursday.

Mehmet Cahit Guran, president of Hacettepe University in the capital Ankara, along with experts on infectious disease Serhat Unal and Murat Akova, told reporters that the first vaccine, produced by Chinese firm Sinovac, was held on Wednesday.

“We anticipate that these trials will bring positive results for Turkey and the world,” Guran said, adding that there are currently nine different vaccine studies in Phase 3 trials.

Subjects will be under observation for seven months, Akova said, mentioning that volunteers would be selected among the 18-60 age group.

He noted that a total of 10,000 people were vaccinated in Brazil and Indonesia and that there had been no side effects.

On Thursday, Turkey reported 1,648 more infections over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 298,039. A total of 7,315 died due to the virus in the country.

Since it originated in China last December, the coronavirus has claimed more than 942,000 lives in 188 countries and regions. The US, India and Brazil, are currently the worst-hit countries.

More than 29.9 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 20.3 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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