Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine

PTI | Jakarta | Updated: 11-01-2021 14:50 IST | Created: 11-01-2021 14:50 IST
Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine

Indonesia's Food and Drug Authority on Monday green-lighted emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd., with vaccinations of high-risk groups expected to start later this week.

Conditional vaccination of healthcare workers and other civil servants using the vaccine, called CoronaVac, is expected to begin this week.

“Based on the data and considering the guidance from (the World Health Organization), CoronaVac has met the requirements to get the permit to use the vaccine,” the chief of Indonesia Food and Drug Monitoring Agency, Penny Lukito, said at a news conference.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he would be the first person to receive the vaccine.

“Why is the President first? It's not about putting myself first, but to ensure everyone that this vaccine is safe and halal,” Widodo said on social media.

The vaccine was cleared for emergency use after Indonesian authorities reviewed clinical trial data from Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia, which are all taking part in Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine.

Brazil's Instituto Butantan said last week that the vaccine was 78% effective in mild cases and 100% effective against severe and moderate infections based on 220 COVID-19 cases from 13,000 volunteers.

In December, Turkish authorities announced an efficacy rate of 91.25% from interim analysis of 29 cases in a trial with 7,371 volunteers. Some 12,450 volunteers, including 1,500 healthcare workers, are involved in the Phase III clinical trials. Further results have not been made publicly available.

Indonesia conducted its own Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine with 1,620 volunteers. Results announced at Monday's news conference said the efficacy rate was 65.3 per cent.

Indonesia's highest Islamic body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, announced last week that the COVID-19 vaccine is halal, or fit for consumption by Muslims, further paving the way for use and distribution in the world's most populous Muslim country.

But some experts have said they would prefer more data from the clinical trials.

Griffith University epidemiologist Dr. Dicky Budiman said that many people have questioned and expressed doubt about the vaccine, as the data Indonesia used for emergency authorisation is only preliminary.

Research into the vaccine is not completed yet and will still take some time, he said.

Sao Paulo's Butantan Institute, Sinovac Biotech Ltd.'s partner in Brazil, did not disclose data such as results by age and gender or the number of asymptomatic volunteers in the sample, which many epidemiologists require to assess whether the shot complies with safety standards. Officials in Brazil said details would be published after Brazil's health regulatory agency approves the vaccine.

Authorities in China and Bolivia have both issued emergency authorization for the CoronaVac vaccine. Chinese health officials have said that some 9 million doses have been administered in China, though the number of people being vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine has not been disclosed. Bolivia has yet to start vaccinations with the CoronaVac vaccine.

Several other countries that were not involved in clinical trials have signed agreements or are in negotiations to secure doses from Sinovac Biotech Ltd., including the Philippines, Singapore, Ukraine, Bolivia and others.

Indonesia has recorded more than 828,000 cases of the virus, including over 24,000 deaths.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Addressing conflict-related sexual violence at long last

... ...

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Australian Rules-Hall of Famer Hunter to donate brain for concussion research

Former Australian Rules player Ken Hunter has said he would donate his brain to science, answering a call to players for help with medical research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE and other neurodegenerative diseases. A Melbourne ...

DMK gives 25 Assembly seats, Kanyakumari LS seat to Congress

After tough negotiations that stretched for days, the DMK on Sunday allotted 25 assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency to its key ally, the Congress.A formal pact for the April 6 Assembly election was signed by DMK presid...

Friend, philosopher and guide, executive producers add extra dimension to quality cinema

It could be helping new talent navigate the turbulent world of the movies, offering financial guidance or just lending their names to add heft. From Alfonso Cuaron to Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a host of celebrities have found a new role for th...

COVID-19 case hits Indian boxers in Spanish tourney, three men forced out of finals

The Indian mens boxing teams final campaign at the 35th Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain was derailed by a positive COVID-19 case in the side, resulting in three withdrawals from the summit clashes.Olympic-bound Ashish Kum...

Give Feedback