A health worker draws a vaccine from its vial during a vaccination program for religious leaders at Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Feb 25, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Jakarta’s Post-Immunization Commission Ensures Covid Vaccine Safety

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

MAY 23, 2021

Jakarta. The Jakarta's Regional Commission for Post-Immunization Events, or KIPI, ensures every Covid-19 vaccine rolled out to the public is safe, as they have undergone several trials.

“All vaccines have undergone three-phase trials for safety,” the commission’s chief Ellen Roostati Sianipar told an online #tanyaIDI conference themed “Is AstraZeneca Safe?” on Thursday.

According to Ellen, common post-immunization side effects are mild. Recipients will usually feel tenderness on where they get the shot or fever. Ellen, however, warned recipients to pay attention to serious side effects, including prolonging symptoms and ones that require medical treatment.

“So far, the reports that we have received are small in comparison to the number of those who have gotten the jab. Even so, we are still conducting assessments," Ellen said. 

Before the inoculation, health workers will suggest the recipients take over-the-counter medicine if they encounter symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting. They are also advised to contact the given number or seek medical attention at the nearby community health centers.

“Recipients that have symptoms are advised to take paracetamol. If the symptoms persist, seek medical attention at the nearest healthcare facility,” Ellen said.

Ellen highlighted that all community health centers in the capital are ready to serve the vaccine recipients.

She also mentioned the ongoing investigation on the post-vaccination death. Within just 24 hours, KIPI immediately conducted the investigation and collected as much data as possible.

“We have done two assessments with the KIPI national commission. We have also met with the family to know the timeline. The investigation is still underway," she added.

In addition, the government has paused the use of the CTMAV547 batch of Astrazeneca vaccine for further toxicity and sterility testing by the  Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM). Ellen said the process would take around two or three weeks.

According to Ellen, Sulawesi had used the Astrazeneca vaccine earlier on. Sometime around March, Jakarta rolled out the Astrazeneca doses for its military and police personnel.

“So far, we have not found a serious case,” Ellen stated.

Reports on serious side effects usually come from the public, health facilities, as well as doctors. KIPI would then complete the report by collecting as much data, she added.

If the patient is hospitalized, the regional KIPI will meet with the doctor in charge and the patient’s family members. Experts on internal medicine and hematology would study the completed data.

“The exact cause is then determined,” Ellen said.

Ellen considered what occurred so far has been a coincidence and unrelated to the vaccine. The symptoms might have taken place simultaneously but were not caused by the jab.

She also urged the public to fact-check any information on post-immunization events. During the MR vaccine rollout in 2017, the circulating misinformation had caused people to hesitate to get the shot.

"Do not panic. There are health facilities around us. You can ask doctors and medical workers."

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