JAKARTA (INDONESIA) – The health ministry of Indonesia has informed that following the death of a 22-year-old man a day after immunisation, the country has suspended a batch of AstraZeneca PLC’s novel coronavirus vaccine to run tests for sterility and toxicity.
The “CTMAV547” batch consists of 448,480 vaccine doses that arrived in the Southeast Asian nation last month – part of a delivery of more than 3.85 million doses from the COVAX Facility, backed by the World Health Organization.
Some of the doses have been distributed in the capital city Jakarta and the province of North Sulawesi, as well as given to the military, the ministry said in a statement.
A national committee in charge of monitoring effects of novel coronavirus vaccination launched an investigation earlier this month after a 22-year-old man in Jakarta died a day after receiving an AstraZeneca shot. The man received his dose from the CTMAV547 batch, health ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said
“This is a form of caution by the government to ensure the safety of this vaccine,” she said in a statement, adding that distribution of other batches of AstraZeneca vaccines will not be affected.
The batch test could take at least two weeks, said the head of the vaccine monitoring committee, Hindra Irawan Satari.
“After it is proven that it is sterile and does not contain toxins, the use of the vaccine will be resumed. The fastest we can get the results will be in two weeks,” he said.
The government has been pushing to accelerate its vaccination programme to control the spread of the virus. Official data showed that as of Saturday, nearly 9 million people have been fully vaccinated.