JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma is still waiting for the government approval before conducting clinical trials of IndoVac vaccine on children aged six to 11 in the country.
IndoVac is a homegrown Covid-19 vaccine produced by Bio Farma.
"If the government wants [to give the IndoVac vaccine] for children in the Covid-19 vaccination program, we can finish the clinical trials in three months," Bio Farma president director Honesti Basyir said on Tuesday, Dec.13.
The government launched Covid-19 vaccination program for children on Dec. 14, 2021.
However, Indonesia is currently facing a shortage of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, which is also used for the children, following the government's decision to stop vaccine imports as of October this year and switch to homegrown vaccines.
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Indonesia has set a target of vaccinating 26.5 million children. However, the vaccine is outpacing supply during the vaccination program for children that has been running for almost a year, Basyir said.
He said that advanced clinical trials of the IndoVac vaccine carried out by Bio Farma are currently targeting the use of the vaccine as a booster shot for adolescents aged 12–17.
The clinical trials need to be done in stages to ensure the produced vaccine is safe and has good efficacy for each target age group, he added.
"Currently, there is no vaccine for children aged six to 11 because the vaccination program prioritize the high-risk groups first," he said.