President Joko Widodo’s plan to start nationwide Covid-19 vaccinations by November is potentially thrown in disarray as calls grew among the Indonesian public for a vaccine to get the country back on track.
“[The Food and Drug Agency or BPOM] has yet to issue the Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines [procured by the government], because all of them are either at the pre-clinical or clinical testing stage,” said BPOM spokesperson Togi J. Hutadjulu.
She insisted that BPOM is playing by the book because it supports the government in its fight against Covid-19 and bid to restore Indonesia’s economy, instead of any intent at obstructionism.
“We have not issued the Emergency Use Authorization because [President Joko Widodo] ordered us to cautiously proceed with our plan to inoculate the Indonesian public by putting their health and safety first,” Togi said.
“We also have to comply with standards for medication and vaccines, namely clinical tests to prove their medical value and safety. The vaccines also have to undergo production, quality and safety tests before they can be authorized.”
The Indonesian government have inked deals with China, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom to produce a Covid-19 vaccine.
The production of the vaccine entailed the collaboration between Indonesian pharmaceutical companies Bio Farma and Kimia Farma with their British, Chinese and Emirati counterparts AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and G42.
3. Indonesian Survey Reveals Public Clamor Against Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto
Life is not getting any easier for embattled Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto after a survey by the Indonesia Political Opinion (IPO) polling agency showed that 57 percent of respondents called for his resignation.