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December 14, 2022, 04.27 PM

JAKARTA, – 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.

Also readJokowi Launches Indonesia’s First Homegrown Covid-19 Vaccine

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.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not set children aged six to 11 as a high-priority group, he added.

He said that clinical trials of the IndoVac vaccine for adolescents are targeted to be completed by the end of this year.

As part of efforts to boost community immunity against Covid-19, the Indonesian government rolled out a nationwide vaccination program on Jan. 13, 2021, targeting as many as 234,666,020 citizens.

The National Covid-19 Task Force recorded that as of Dec. 12 this year, as many as 203,833,159 Indonesians have received the first vaccine dose, 174,449,231 received the second dose, 67,522,970 have taken the third dose or first booster, and 1,018,280 have received the fourth dose or second booster.

Source: State News Antara

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