TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has finally authorized the emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine that has arrived in Indonesia from the United Kingdom after careful studies.
“The vaccine brings greater benefits than risks so we can start using it,” said the agency in a written statement on Friday, March 19.
Previously reported, several European Union countries suspended the use of the COVID-19 vaccine after a number of recipients experienced blood clots. In Indonesia, based on the BPOM’s considerations and investigations by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the vaccine will remain to be administered.
BPOM noted that several EU countries that initially suspended the vaccine decided to resume vaccination after the EMA’s accounts and considerations that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.
On this basis and the high number of COVID-19 cases in the archipelago, BPOM acknowledged that the vaccination might lead to an adverse event following immunization (KIPI). However, the death risk of the disease was much higher. Thus, people must still be vaccinated according to a predetermined schedule.
“BPOM, along with the Health Ministry and the KIPI National Commission, continues to monitor the safety of the vaccines used in Indonesia [including AstraZeneca] and follow up on issues of any post-immunization event,” the agency concluded.