JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia will temporarily halt the distribution and use of a batch of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company, nearly two weeks after the set was implicated in the death of a vaccine recipient earlier this month.
“The Food and Drug Agency [BPOM] will run tests on AstraZeneca batch number CTMAV547, which will take one or two weeks. The move is part of efforts to ensure that the vaccine is safe for use,” said Ministry of Health spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Sunday.
“The National Commission for Post Immunization Incidents or KIPI’s report also recommended the BPOM test, though data on the batch has yet to confirm the recommendation.”
Nadia added that KIPI has yet to find evidence of people in Indonesia who died as a result of a Covid-19 vaccination. “In a number of similar incidents, the deceased died from other factors unrelated to the vaccine.” She declined to elaborate.
“The move will not affect other AstraZeneca batches aside from CTMAV547. The other batches are perfectly safe for use, so the public do not need to question their quality,” Nadia assured. “The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue because they are shown to have substantial benefits.”
She also called on the Indonesian public to remain calm and turn to credible, verified sources instead of hoaxes, on the issue.
The 448,480 doses that make up the CTMAV547 Covid-19 batch is part of more than the 3,85 million doses shipped to Indonesia from the Covax Facility/World Health Organization [WHO] on April 26, 2021.
The batch has been distributed to military and police personnel, as well as the provinces of Jakarta and North Sulawesi.