Vaccine Safety is Top Priority: Research Minister
Date 29 Oktober 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for safety and effectiveness in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and in the vaccination itself.
According to Minister of Research and Technology / Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, the Merah Putih vaccine, one of the vaccines to be used, is domestically produced in cooperation with other countries and through multilateral cooperation.
The Government, he said, is also partnering with a number of parties to develop the vaccine using a virus isolate transmitted in Indonesia.
“Six institutions are currently developing the COVID-19 vaccines. This demonstrates the concern of researchers, lecturers in seeking solutions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said as reported by www.ristekbrin.go.id Tuesday (27/10).
Those six institutions in question are the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, LIPI (the Indonesian Institute of Sciences), Gadjah Mada University, University of Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology, and Airlangga University.
“The fastest possibility is the vaccine developed by the Eijkman Institute. The vaccine is being prepared for animal testing in October. We hope it can be completed and the result will be satisfactory by the end of the year,” he said.
Afterwards, he added, the vaccine seeds tested on animal cells will be submitted to state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma that will carry out a small-scale production for clinical trial stages 1, 2, and 3.
“Clinical trials need to be carried out to ensure that the resulting vaccine is safe. The number one factor that must be met in making this vaccine is safety in the sense that the vaccine will not cause side effects or serious health problems. We apply the principle of prudence in every process,” he said.
The Minister also pointed out that the development of the vaccine is a reflection of the triple helix synergy, namely the cooperation of the Government (ministries / institutions), universities, and industry as a joint effort to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to provide a sense of security and convenience for the people.
In the clinical trial phase, he added, Bio Farma acts as the implementing sponsor with Ministry of Health’s research and development agency, while the Indonesian Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) as the regulatory body issues a distribution permit once the vaccine has gone through clinical trials.
Echoing Minister of Research and Technology’s views, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto revealed that procedures for each clinical trial must be fulfilled.
According to him, the interim report of the results of clinical trials conducted in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung is expected to be evaluated in the first week of December.
As for the procurement of finished vaccines whose clinical trials are being conducted in other countries, it is also hoped that the reports will be submitted in December this year, he said.
“With the procedures followed for emergency use authorization, we hope the BPOM can conduct an evaluation. Once the clinical trial protocols are fulfilled, vaccination can be carried out with careful planning,” he said. (Bureau of Public Cooperation & Communication, Ministry of Research and Technology/UN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas