Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called vaccine nationalism a "disgrace for humanity" Tuesday and urged global cooperation to combat COVID-19.
"At a time when millions of people have lost their lives and tens of millions of people are suffering in the grip of the virus, it is a disgrace for humanity that vaccine nationalism is still being carried on through different methods," Erdogan said in his address at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The president said that during this pandemic, the solidarity test did not go well for humanity.
"Especially the underdeveloped countries and poor segments of society were literally left to their fate in the face of the pandemic," he said.
The president said the pandemic, which has sickened nearly 230 million people and killed more than 4.7 million others since December 2019, can only be overcome through international cooperation and solidarity.
"It is not possible for any country to survive safely on its own before all countries are free from this pandemic. We hope that the will which shall be displayed at the General Assembly will constitute a turning point in understanding this truth," he added.
The Turkish president also said that Turkey dispatched medical aid to 159 countries and 12 international organizations during the pandemic and announced that Ankara will distribute it to other countries.
"I would like to inform that we will offer in the near future our national vaccine, Turkovac, to the benefit of all humanity, together with our nation," he said.
According to Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, the Turkovac jab is at a stage where authorities are preparing to apply for emergency use approval.
“If approved, we will start mass production in October,” Koca said on Sept. 9, adding two facilities are now ready for manufacturing./agencies