Turkish official praises couple behind Pfizer vaccine

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish parliament speaker on Wednesday said he spoke to, and congratulated the Turkish-German couple behind a ground-breaking COVID-19 vaccine.

"Their success is a source of pride for all of us," Mustafa Sentop tweeted. "I wish them success."

Both Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci are children of Turkish immigrants. They attracted the world's attention last week after their firm BioNTech, in collaboration with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, announced a 90% success rate in its initial COVID-19 vaccine.

While Sahin was born in Turkey's southern province of Iskenderun in 1965 and moved to Germany as a 4-year-old, Tureci, 53, is the daughter of a Turkish physician who emigrated to Germany from Istanbul.

It is being hoped that their antigen will soon be granted an emergency use authorization, paving the way for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

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