KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for five types of Covid-19 booster shots to improve the protection people have from the first two doses previously received.
BPOM head Penny Lukito said the authorization for the booster shot or the third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine aims to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
“We are now entering the booster vaccination stage. In support of the government vaccination program as one of the efforts to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, BPOM has authorized five vaccine products for emergency use,” Penny told a press conference on Monday, Jan. 10.
She said that the permit would allow the implementation of homologous and heterologous booster vaccine programs. The homologous vaccination uses the same vaccine type as the primary series vaccine, while the heterologous vaccination uses a different vaccine type from the initial vaccine.
The five vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use are CoronaVac (Sinovac), Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Zifivax. The first three vaccines comprising CoronaVac, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca will be used for homologous vaccination. The other vaccine types will be used for heterologous vaccination.
Besides the five vaccines, BPOM is currently conducting clinical trials for other Covid-19 vaccines that will also be used for the booster jabs. “We hope that BPOM will issue the authorization for emergency use in a few days.”
The issuance of the EUA referred to the recommendation of the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI). The government has decided to start administering the booster shots on Jan. 12.
Penny said it is necessary to administer the booster shots as 56 percent of the 280 million population has been vaccinated. The Health Ministry recorded that about 21 million people in the country have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine more than six months ago.
The Ministry of Health targets about 100 million people to receive free of charge booster vaccines through the government-led Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), and 121 million others will have to pay for their booster shots.
It was reported that the Covid-19 booster jabs can be done at the districts/cities with vaccination coverage of 70 percent for the first dose and 60 percent for the second dose. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said as of now, 244 regencies and cities have met the criteria. The Covid-19 booster jabs will be given six months after administering the second dose of the vaccine.
(Writer: Ellyvon Pranita | Editor: Bestari Kumala Dewi)
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