Indonesia’s Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM) today issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine from American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna, the first mRNA-based vaccine to be authorized for use in the archipelago nation.
BPOM issued the EUA following satisfactory results of the third phase of clinical trials and assessments made by the agency, the National COVID-19 Vaccine Assessment Committee, and the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI).
“Based on data from the third phase of clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine showed the efficacy rate of 94.1 percent for the age group of 18-65 and 86.4 percent for people aged above 65,” BPOM Head Penny K. Lukito said at a press conference today.
Moderna vaccines can be administered to adults (18 and above), joining a list of other vaccines that Indonesian authorities have so far approved, namely those from Sinovac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca.
BPOM has also approved the administration of COVID jabs for children aged 12-17 using Sinovac, with Jakarta kicking off the program just yesterday.
According to Penny, the trials proved that the Moderna vaccine is safe for people with underlying health conditions, including chronic lung, heart, and liver diseases; severe obesity; diabetes; and HIV. She added that the EUA was issued to respond to the very high demand of COVID-19 jabs, as well as an effort to accelerate the national vaccination rollout.
In a press conference yesterday, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the US is set to donate around four million doses of Moderna vaccines to Indonesia soon, though no specific date has been mentioned.
The country will also receive 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a grant from Japan, with the first shipment containing 998,400 doses having arrived in Jakarta last night.
In addition, 14 million doses of vaccine from Sinovac arrived in the country on Wednesday. Sinovac’s vaccines have so far been the most used vaccine in the national rollout.
Budi also mentioned additional shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the WHO-backed COVAX initiative to make vaccines available to developing nations are to be expected soon, as well as shipments of the Pfizer vaccine in August.
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