Jakarta. The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency, or BPOM, has issued an emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccine developed by US drug company ModernaTX Inc., the agency’s head confirmed on Friday.
The move came after the US government pledged an assistance of Covid-19 vaccine through the UN-approved global scheme Covax.
“Yesterday, the BPOM added Moderna to the list of Covid-19 vaccines authorized for use here. This is the first mRNA vaccine to get the approval,” BPOM Head Penny Lukito said in a video conference.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mRNA vaccines do not use live virus that causes Covid-19, meaning that those vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with Covid-19.
The vaccine works by “teaching human cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside their bodies”.
Many other vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into human bodies to trigger immune response.
“Moderna vaccine is for citizens above 18 years of age, each recipient will get two shots in a one-month interval,” Penny said.
The agency has earlier authorized the use of two vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm as well as UK-made AstraZeneca vaccine.
Results from previous clinical trials indicate that Moderna vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1 percent for people between 18 and 65, Penny said.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the US government has pledged an assistance of 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine after she met State Secretary Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 forum in Italy.
Indonesia has administered more than 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines since the campaign began on January 13, according to government figures released on Friday. More than 13.7 million citizens have been fully vaccinated.