BPOM approves Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use: Chairwoman

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech for emergency use, the office's chairwoman, Penny K. Lukito, stated during a virtual press conference here on Monday.

"CoronaVac has met the requirements for EUA (emergency use approval)," Lukito highlighted while referring to Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine.

The approval for emergency use was granted after a comprehensive review of the vaccine's interim results of the late clinical trials conducted by Sinovac in Indonesia, Brazil, and Turkey.

Result of the trials conducted in Bandung by Sinovac and state-owned vaccine manufacturer BioFarma showed CoronaVac to be 65.3-percent effective, essentially clearing the minimum standard set by the World Health Organization for an emergency use approval at 50 percent.

In Brazil, the vaccine was tested to be 78-percent effective, while it was found to be 91-percent effective in a test result in Turkey, Lukito revealed.

The chairwoman spoke of her office also having met with the National Commission for Drug Review, epidemiologists, and the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) to share and to peer-review the vaccine's test results.

Lukito notified the press that after the approval, the BPOM will closely monitor the likely side-effects occurring during the first inoculation on Wednesday.

The Indonesian government will launch its vaccine program, with President Joko Widodo receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine shot, and the vaccination drive planned to continue on January 14-15 in several regions across the country, Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian had announced last week.

"Nearly 5.8 million (Indonesians) will be vaccinated in January. In total, 182 million (Indonesians) will be vaccinated. With each citizen receiving two shots of the vaccination, 182 million (Indonesians) will need almost 400 million vaccine doses," President Joko Widodo stated while addressing his ministers at a meeting on last Friday.

The Indonesian government has ordered at least 329.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from several sources.

Source: Antara News

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