Workers unload boxes containing AstraZeneca vaccine at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Banten on March 8, 2021. (Beritasatu Photo/Emral Firdiansyah)

Indonesia Won’t Delay AstraZeneca Vaccine Rollout

BY :NATASIA CHRISTY WAHYUNI

MARCH 12, 2021

Jakarta. The Indonesian government has no plan to delay the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine it received via global procurement scheme Covax, a spokesperson said on Friday.

A number of countries including neighboring Thailand have delayed or suspended the Covid-19 vaccine amid reports of blood clots after it was administered.

The Drug and Food Supervisory Agency, or BPOM, issued emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday, a day after 1.1 million doses of the vaccine arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Banten from the Netherlands.

“The BPOM as regulator has examined the safety aspect of AstraZeneca vaccine. We will continue administering this vaccine for elderly citizens and essential service workers,” Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tirmidzi said during a video conference in Jakarta.

There have been around 30 cases of "thromboembolic events" -- or developing blood clots -- in Europe after the vaccine was administered, BBC reported on Friday.

However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday that there was no indication the jab was causing the blood clots, adding that its "benefits continue to outweigh its risks".

Indonesia joins other countries who continue administering AstraZeneca vaccine including Portugal, Australia, Mexico and the Philippines.

AstraZeneca is only the second Covid-19 vaccine to have arrived in Indonesia, which has largely used Coronavac vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.

Around 3.8 million people have received Coronavac vaccine  in Indonesia since the mass vaccination drive began on January 13.

Of that figures, 1.3 million people have received double doses of the vaccine.
 

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