Rumors on Acute Hepatitis Caused by COVID-19 Vaccine Baseless: Epidemiologist

4 May 2022 11:58 WIB

Hepatitis illustration. Shutterstock.com

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Griffith University epidemiologist Dicky Budiman said the rife rumors on the mysterious acute hepatitis allegedly triggered by COVID-19 vaccine were sans scientific facts.

“So, there have been no scientific facts or arguments confirming that this is caused by COVID-19 vaccine,” he said on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Rumors on acute hepatitis hailing from the Great Britain in several European countries have been attributed to the lockdown policy, as opposed to in Indonesia where the disease was linked to COVID-19 vaccination. Thus, he said the rumors were baseless.

Dicky explained that according to scientific hypotheses made by global researchers, the acute hepatitis is likely to be an ensuing impact from the COVID-19 pandemic infection, which since the onset had infected patients’ liver.

“So, I do not see any inclination that this is due to vaccine, no, that is a very frail theory that is prone to errors. But the mitigation is still how to prevent infection, among others through vaccination as protection,” he added.

Quoting a Health Ministry Circular No. HK.02.02/C/2515/2022 on Caution against the Discovery of Cases of Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology, WHO has declared the disease an extraordinary occurrence.

The WHO announcement came on April 15, 2022 after the disease infected children aged 11 months to five years. WHO received reports on April 5, 2022 from the Great Britain on 11 acute hepatitis cases in children in January-March 2022 in Central Scotland.

The Health Ministry followed suit by stepping up its guard against the disease following the deaths of three pediatrics patients in Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National Central General Hospital of alleged acute hepatitis in two weeks' time up till April 30, 2022.

The three patients were referred from hospitals in East and West Jakarta. They showed multiple symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, jaundice, seizures and loss of consciousness.

Presently, the Health Ministry is still investigating the probable cause of the disease through complete examinations of the virus panel. “During the investigation, we called on people to remain cautious and calm,” said Health Ministry spokesperson dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi in a statement on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Read: IDI Provides Suggestions Concerning Mysterious Acute Hepatitis

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