BPOM’s booster shot EUAs hint at Sinovac 1-2-3 for most Indonesians upon program’s launch

File photo of the Sinovac vaccine.
File photo of the Sinovac vaccine.

Update: The government updated its booster shot guidelines Tuesday allowing mixing and matching jabs. Specifically, those who received the Sinovac vaccine for their primary doses can now get half a dose of the Pfizer vaccine as a booster, and those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their primary doses can get half a dose of the Moderna vaccine as a booster.

Original story follows.


Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) today issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 booster shots, and it seems options for mixing and matching jabs will be limited for a lot of people upon the program’s launch on Jan. 12.

Based on advice from the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), BPOM said it has issued EUAs to five COVID-19 vaccines, namely those by Sinovac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Zifivax. Stipulations within the EUAs mean that the following rules will be in effect:

  • Sinovac booster can only be given to those who have received the Sinovac vaccine for their primary (first and second) doses;
  • Pfizer booster can only be given to those who have received the Pfizer vaccine for their primary doses;
  • AstraZeneca booster can only be given to those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their primary doses;
  • Moderna booster can be given to those who have received the Moderna or Pfizer or Janssen or AstraZeneca vaccines for their primary doses;
  • Zifivax booster can be given to those who have received the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines for their primary doses.

However, it’s likely that BPOM will soon expand booster shot compatibility between brands. It’s worth noting that Indonesian health workers, who have been eligible to receive booster shots since last year, were able to mix Sinovac primary shots with a Moderna booster shot for stronger protection against the coronavirus.

“There are these five for now. The clinical trials for booster shots is still ongoing so in a few days we can decide on more EUAs,” BPOM Head Penny K Lukito said.

With the vast majority of the Indonesian population having received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, it is likely that demand would be high for mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna for booster shots. Preliminary studies suggest that three doses of the Sinovac vaccine are ineffective against Omicron.

The Indonesian government is beginning its booster shot rollout on Jan. 12, initially targeting some 21 million people in 244 cities/regencies that have fully vaccinated at least 60 percent of their population. Booster shots are set to be free for the elderly and recipients of a social aid program, while everybody else will have to pay for their third dose (and beyond).

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