Jakarta. The Indonesian Drug and Food Supervisory Agency, or BPOM, has issued emergency use authorization of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech for children as young as six years old.
BPOM head Penny Lukito said on Monday the approval was granted following successful clinical trials Phase 1 and 2 which focused on safety and immunogenicity – the ability of the vaccine to trigger an immune response among children.
“The immunogenicity demonstrated during the trials was in high percentage -- 96 percent. As for the efficacy rate, we referred to results from previous clinical trials,” Penny said in a news conference.
The Sinovac vaccine was the first to get Indonesian approval for use among children, previously limited to those aged 12 and above.
With younger demographics now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, the school reopening can be expanded with confidence among parents, Penny added.
“The pandemic is far from over and we must continue expanding the Covid-19 vaccination drive. I think children belong to the vulnerable group of the demographics and we can start vaccinating those aged six years old and above,” she said.
Indonesia has administered more than 194 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine since the campaign began on January 13, with 74 million citizens fully vaccinated.
More than 26 million children between 12 and 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Health Ministry’s vaccination dashboard.