TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - University of Indonesia epidemiologist Pandu Riono suspects that Indonesia is being a part of a multicenter clinical trial by China’s Sinovac Biotech, which intends to test the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am suspicious that this is part of a multicenter study,” said Pandu as Tempo reached him on Wednesday, July 22.
He explained that the effectiveness of a vaccine will only be definitively tested if the human samples vary enough to a certain degree. This is usually conducted in areas with high infection rates, which he assumes is why Indonesia was chosen as the place to clinically test the vaccine.
Apart from Indonesia, other countries that received the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine are Brazil and Bangladesh. Pandu suspects the vaccine testing for Indonesia had been long-planned as the specific number of samples were immediately set at 1,620 people.
He called for the Indonesian government to pay close attention to clinical studies that will be conducted later on and argues that such a situation will benefit Indonesia if the government is eventually permitted to produce its own vaccines.
The University of Indonesia epidemiologist suggested the government to not only conduct the tests in Bandung but also in other areas to provide accurate comparable data.
M ROSSENO AJI