A trader of Tanah Abang market gets a jab of Covid-19 vaccine during second phase of Covid-19 mass vaccination in Tanah Abang market, Central Jakarta on Feb 17, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

It Is Safe: Rollout for 39 AstraZeneca Batches Continues in Indonesia

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

MAY 20, 2021

Jakarta. Health Ministry's vaccination spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said on Wednesday that only one out of the forty Astrazeneca batches, namely the CTMAV547, has its distribution paused, stressing that the remaining batches are safe for use.

The CTMAV547 batch comprised 448,480 doses and was part of the 3.8 million doses of Covax-procured shots received in late April. 

"It is only the CTMAV547 batch, whose distribution we have temporarily suspended, for toxicity and sterility tests by the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency [BPOM]. [This is] part of the government's precautionary measures," Nadia said in a press statement on Wednesday.

"Other Astrazeneca batches aside from CTMAV547 are safe for use, so the public does not need to worry," she said.

Immunization expert Elizabeth Jane Soepardi praised the government for taking precautions. According to Jane, the suspended rollout will resume if the batch passes the tests.

Jane noted Astrazeneca vaccine as a whole had already been tested for its uses and benefits, as it is the world's most administered vaccine. Over a billion doses of Astrazeneca have also been rolled out globally.

"WHO themselves have declared the Astrazeneca vaccine to be safe," she said.

Jane then cited the United Kingdom as an example of a country that managed to curb the virus outbreak after the Astrazeneca rollout.

The UK has inoculated 70 percent of its population using AstraZeneca. Their daily new infections then plummeted from 59,937 cases in early January to just 2,220 on May 17, she said.

"Learning from the success stories of other countries, Indonesia must work harder to ensure that everyone gets the jab, regardless of the vaccine."

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