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Jakarta Post

No emergency vaccine approval this year in Indonesia, says BPOM

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, November 19, 2020   /  08:04 am
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A medical worker at a community health center (puskesmas) in Tapos, Depok, West Java, simulates a COVID-19 vaccination on Oct. 21. Depok is expected to have early access to an eventual vaccine because of its high rate of COVID-19 transmission. JP/P.J. Leo(JP/P.J. Leo)

Indonesia may not be able to start its proposed mass vaccination program this year because of efficacy concerns, despite President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s push to fast-track the effort amid rising cases and rampant health protocol violations. The Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has said it will not authorize the emergency use of a COVID-19 candidate vaccine in December because of a lack of data on its effectiveness. However, the agency has offered an alternative restricted vaccination program through a “compassionate use” provision, where a potential vaccine whose efficacy has not been proven may be used in a limited capacity. BPOM head Penny Kusumastuti Lukito told lawmakers on Tuesday that during an inspection of Sinovac Biotech facilities in China, her agency had obtained data from the first two phases of the candidate vaccine&rs...