JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has reminded the country’s vaccine manufacturer PT Bio Farma to develop a communication strategy on halal Covid-19 vaccine or comply with Islamic standards.
“Build the communication strategy in ensuring the Covid-19 vaccine is halal [permissible according to Islamic law] to avoid any doubts. This should not be a problem,” said Ma’ruf during a virtual meeting with PT Bio Farma on August 27.
State firm PT Bio Farma is currently conducting Phase 3 clinical trials after receiving about 2,400 vaccine doses from its counterpart Sinovac Biotech Ltd of China. The company will produce up to 250 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine early next year.
Ma’ruf underscored the need of providing a clear explanation of the halal certification of the Covid-19 vaccine. This, he said, is to prevent what had happened to the previous issue on the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine from reoccurring. He said that when the MR vaccine was distributed to the public, it had yet to be certified as halal.
Learning from past experiences, Ma’ruf called on the relevant parties to familiarize the Covid-19 vaccine with a good communication approach to ensure the smooth running of the vaccination program.
“The Covid-19 issue has impacted our nation in terms of health, social, and economic aspects. The key [to overcoming the issue] is to have the vaccines, and the vaccines must be certified as halal,” he said.
Previously, during a ceremony to mark the start of Phase 3 clinical trials in Bandung in West Java, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir gave an assurance that the vaccine complied with Islamic standards.
“We ask for your support and prayers for the [development of] the vaccine. I can assure you that the vaccine is halal,” said Erick, who is also the chief executive of the Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committed on August 11.
He said after the Phase 3 clinical trials are done, his office will register the vaccine with the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) before mass production takes place and to contain the Covid-19 in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.
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