TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) granted the emergency use authorization (EUA) for five brands of COVID-19 vaccine boosters on January 10, 2022. One of them is Zifivax which is developed and produced by China-based biopharmaceutical firm Anhui Zhifei Longcom.
BPOM head Penny K. Lukito in a press conference explained that there are two different kinds of boosters, namely homologous and heterologous. Homologous boosting means using the same vaccine brand for the first to third dose shots, while heterologous boosting means using a different vaccine brand as a booster.
Zifivax, meanwhile, is used as a heterologous vaccine booster.
According to the agency’s page pom.go.id, Zifivax is a vaccine developed with recombinant glycoprotein spike protein subunit platform technology which can trigger the human immune system when injected, unlike the Sinovac vaccine which is an inactivated vaccine.
Zifivax vaccine is used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 in people aged 18 years and over, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that the booster vaccine can be given to adults over 18 years old at least six months after the second dose injection.
According to Padjadjaran University researcher Rodman Tarigan, the efficacy rate of the vaccine booster was recorded at 81.51 percent based on the clinical trials. “The efficacy rate for people aged 18-59 years is 81.51 percent, while for people over 60 years is 87.58 percent,” said Rodman as quoted from the university’s website unpad.ac.id.
The figure is in fact exceeded the WHO recommendation of above 50 percent. The vaccine is also claimed to be effective against severe virus variants, including the Delta variant. The efficacy rate against the Delta variant hit 77.47 percent.
In addition to Indonesia, Rodman said that phase III clinical trials of the Zifivax vaccine have also been carried out in a number of countries, viz. Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Pakistan, and China. The efficacy rate found in each country’s clinical trials has the same value of around 81 percent. Moreover, the vaccine booster has passed the halal certification process from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).