Indonesia seeks to exchange COVID vaccine data with other nations

Jakarta The Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is continuing to communicate with other countries to exchange scientific data related to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

“Diplomacy is also moving to facilitate the exchange of scientific data required for granting permits for emergency use,” Marsudi said at an online press conference after signing agreements to purchase 100 million doses of AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines on Wednesday.

Reiterating President Joko Widodo’s message regarding the application of precautions at each stage of the COVID-19 vaccination process, Retno said that scientific data is "very important and cannot be negotiated”.

Retno added that for this matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated a virtual meeting between the Indonesian team and the Turkish team on December 27, 2020, and has continued to communicate with Brazil regarding the same matter.

Early in December this year, Indonesia received 1.2 million doses of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, and another 1.8 million doses of the vaccine are expected by Thursday (December 31, 2020), which will bring the total number of doses to three million.

Currently, the clinical trial of the Sinovac vaccine is still on in Bandung, West Java. Three months of interim data on the effectiveness of the vaccine will be received by the relevant authorities "at the beginning of the first week of January, 2021", head of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, has said.

Meanwhile, based on the results of their clinical trials, Turkey and Brazil recently announced they had found the Sinovac vaccine effective.

According to the interim data for Phase III clinical trials in Turkey, released on December 24, 2020, the Sinovac vaccine has been found 91.25 percent effective against the coronavirus. The country's scientists also said volunteers did not show any significant side-effects during the trial period.

Meanwhile on December 23, 2020, Brazilian scientists carrying out the final phase of clinical trials said the Sinovac vaccine has an effectiveness of more than 50 percent - but the full results are still being held from being released, at the request of the company.

Source: Antara News

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