JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Health Ministry quashed rumors that Covid-19 vaccination has associations with acute hepatitis in children as the cause remains unknown.
“The incident [the deaths of three children from acute hepatitis in Indonesia] has been attributed to the Covid-19 vaccines. This is not true because currently there is no evidence that the incident has an association with the Covid-19 vaccination,” Hanifah Oswari, lead scientist for the acute hepatitis case, told a virtual press conference on Thursday, May 5.
Hanifah said that what happened was the incident took place at the same time.
Therefore, the government has taken some necessary actions to prevent and control the infection of hepatitis acute among children. This included the issuance of a circular on enhancing vigilance in acute hepatitis of unknown etiology and the appointment of the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Saroso) in North Jakarta and the laboratory at the University of Indonesia’s School of Medicine as referral institutions for the examination of the specimens.
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“The government calls on all health care workers and officials at health service facilities to implement prevention and control, especially for the contagious virus. Hopefully, there will be referral hospitals in each district/regency,” Hanifah added.
Previously, it was reported that three children died from acute hepatitis in Indonesia last month after receiving treatment at the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) in Jakarta. The ministry is currently investigating the cause of the mysterious liver disease affecting children in several countries.
A spokesperson for the Health Ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi called for the public to remain calm and vigilant during the investigation process.
Nadia said the three children who died from the disease also received treatments at hospitals in East Jakarta and West Jakarta. The ministry has increased its vigilance in the last two weeks as the World Health Organization has declared acute hepatitis an extraordinary event.
(Writer: Dian Erika Nugraheny | Editor: Gloria Setyvani Putri)
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