Indonesian Government Shifts to Domestic COVID-19 Vaccines Amid Safety Concerns

Domestic COVID-19 Vaccines

Jakarta, The Gulf Observer: In a strategic move aimed at bolstering public health safety, the Indonesian government has made the decision to replace imported COVID-19 vaccines with domestically manufactured alternatives, citing lower risks of adverse side effects. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin made the announcement at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Friday, addressing concerns regarding reported cases of thrombosis associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Minister Sadikin emphasized that the government has transitioned to exclusively distributing domestically produced vaccines, deemed to offer a higher level of safety assurance. This proactive measure underscores the government’s commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of its citizens in the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite Indonesia’s transition from pandemic to endemic status, Minister Sadikin underscored the continued necessity of COVID-19 vaccination efforts, particularly in safeguarding vulnerable populations with underlying health conditions and individuals planning international travel. He reiterated the global significance of addressing the ongoing threat posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, emphasizing the importance of sustained vigilance and preventive measures.

In light of the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, the government has advised prospective pilgrims to prioritize vaccination, recognizing the persistent risk of COVID-19 transmission. While acknowledging individual autonomy in vaccine decision-making, Minister Sadikin urged adherence to recommended vaccination protocols, emphasizing the pivotal role of vaccination in mitigating health risks and preventing the spread of the virus.

Furthermore, Minister Sadikin issued a plea to individuals with underlying health conditions to avail themselves of vaccination opportunities, highlighting the option for receiving additional doses for enhanced protection. He stressed the importance of utilizing domestically produced vaccines, reaffirming their safety and efficacy in combating COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health has been actively replacing foreign COVID-19 vaccines with nationally developed alternatives since 2022, including the IndoVac vaccine produced by state-owned Bio Farma and the InaVac vaccine manufactured by the University of Airlangga and PT BiotisPharmaceutical Indonesia. Additionally, the AWcorna vaccine, produced in collaboration with China’s Abogen-Yuxi Walvax, represents another domestically manufactured option available to the Indonesian populace.

The government’s transition to domestically produced vaccines reflects a strategic approach to enhancing vaccine accessibility, safety, and effectiveness, thereby reinforcing Indonesia’s ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and safeguard public health.