The Jakarta Post
Indonesia does not have a shortage of vaccines because state-owned pharmaceutical company PT. Bio Farma produces sufficient vaccines for the country, Health Minister Nila Farida Moeloek insists.
“Bio Farma has enough stock to exports vaccine to 130 countries, so the quality of vaccines available locally does not need to be questioned,” Nila said, adding that some private hospitals also received import vaccines from pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Pfizer and MSD.
“Private hospitals can request vaccine stocks from us, however, we can’t prevent them from importing vaccines from other countries,” Nila said.
Based on investigation findings, only imported vaccines are known to have been faked in the recent vaccine scam scandal. Most of the fake vaccines are reported to have been Pediacel and Tripacel.
Pediacel is a combination vaccine designed to ward off diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b). Locally, the vaccine is divided into three; DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), polio and Hib. Tripacel contains the DPT vaccine.
Bio Farma manufactured vaccines are the same quality as imported vaccines. It is just the ingredients of both vaccines that are different, meaning that the local vaccine has increased potential to cause patients to experience a slight fever, Nila explained.
Bio Farma still cannot produce vaccines for rabies, chicken pox and hepatitis. Therefore, the government is required to import some vaccines.
Admitting to negligence over the recent vaccine scandal, the Heath Ministry have vowed to evaluate regulation implementation, procedure, socialization and monitoring so that cases involving fake vaccines will not reoccur in future. (bbn)
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