Health Ministry Ensures Sinovac Vaccine Used Up Before Shelf Life Ends
Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi has clarified the rumor that Sinovac-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine has expired, explaining that the vaccine has no expiry date, but a shelf life instead.
According to her, the Government does not inject vaccine that has exceeded its shelf life to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
For the record, three million doses of Sinovac vaccine that arrived in the first stage consisted of 1.2 million doses that arrived at the beginning of December and 1.8 million doses that arrived at the end of December last year.
The vaccine was produced in September-November 2020 and has three years of shelf life.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) claimed that Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine has six months of shelf life based on product stability data.
Nadia also stressed that this provision is not intended to shorten the shelf life. Instead, she added, it is the Government’s measure of caution by not simply accepting data from the manufacturer.
“The BPOM did not shorten the shelf life. In fact, it deemed that the shelf life of the vaccine is not supposed to be based on information provided by the manufacturer but should be based on the stability data,” Nadia said as quoted from the website of Ministry of Health, Wednesday (17/03).
Nadia further said that the shelf life of 1.2 million vaccine doses ends on 25 March 2021, whereas the shelf life of 1.8 million doses ends in May 2021, adding that all of the vaccine has been used to vaccinate health care and public service workers.
“Ministry of Health conforms to the decision of the BPOM. From the beginning, we have ensured that Sinovac vaccine is used within its shelf life as determined by the BPOM,” she stated.
As the vaccine from the first arrival has been used up, the Government uses Bio Farma-manufactured vaccine, produced with Sinovac’s bulk vaccine or vaccine raw material from the second arrival, to vaccinate senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as public service workers.
Nadia went on to say that Bio Farma’s vaccine has a bigger vial size than Sinovac’s vaccine that was imported straight from China.
“The packaging is different from the first. It is still a vial, but this one can be used to inject 9-11 people with half cc,” she said.
The packaging difference, she added, also ensures that Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine from the first arrival is not used anymore.
Nadia also urged the public not to worry because the Government ensures safety, efficacy, and quality of vaccine that will be injected to all Indonesian people. (PR of Ministry of Health/UN) (DH/EP)