The Indonesian government has so far given the green light for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, despite a number of European countries suspending use of the vaccine because of cases of blood clots.
“The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has the authority to decide,” said Wiku Adisasmito, spokesman for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force.
To this, the Head of BPOM Penny K. Lukito and the Spokesperson for Vaccination from BPOM, Lucia Rizka Andalusia, have not given confirmation regarding further research on AstraZeneca up to the time this story was posted.
Wiku explained that a total of 113,600 vaccines from AstraZeneca will be fully allocated for the second phase of the vaccination program targeting public service workers and elderly citizens in Indonesia.
“Let’s just wait for the results of the research and case investigations being carried out by several European countries,” added Wiku.
The Canadian Health Ministry is aware of the reports of side effects following use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe. However, they judge the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks as there have been no adverse events related to the AstraZaneca vaccine there, nor indication that the vaccine caused these events.
Australia, moreover, is continuing to use the AstraZeneca vaccine since there is no evidence of blood clots. The Australian drug regulator will monitor cases of side effects but will not stop vaccinations.
Meanwhile, health agencies in Denmark, Norway and Iceland have temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots had occurred in a number of people who had received a dose of the vaccine.
Denmark stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine for 14 days, after it was reported that a 60-year-old woman died from a blood clot after being injected.
The European Medicines Agency weighed in to the discussing on Thursday with a statement saying there is “no indication that the vaccination has caused [blood clots], which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”
“The vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while the investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing,” he added.
Those events are 30 cases of blood clots across the more than five million people in Europe who have received the AstraZeneca jab. A further 11 million vaccines from the company have been administered in the UK with no trends of blood clots being identified.