N Sulawesi suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

North Sulawesi province has suspended the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution after vaccinated people experienced fever, chills, headache and fatigue.

“It is suspended temporarily while awaiting official clarification and statement from the Health Ministry and WHO representative for Indonesia with regard to the official letter we sent on March 26, 2021,” Head of the North Sulawesi Provincial Health Office dr Debie KR Kalalo MSoPH said here on Saturday.

Spokesman for the North Sulawesi Covid-19 Response Task Force dr Steven Dandel MPH said the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been temporarily suspended as a precaution after 5 to 10 percent of people administered AstraZeneca Covd-19 vaccine suffered a post-immunization side effect.

The post-immunization side effect include symptoms of fever, chills, bone pain, nausea and vomiting.

Steven said the emergency use authorization (EUA) for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine stipulates that the post-immunization side effect is a frequent adverse effect which is found in one out of every 10 people administered the vaccine.

“We need to prepare risk communication to the public so they can accept the fact and will not panic,”he said.

The Indonesian government is targeting to obtain 100 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to help the country contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has informed.

“(We) are targeting to receive more than 100 million doses,” he said while observing the vaccination of hundreds of preachers at the Office of East Java Provincial Executive Board of the Islamic Organization Nahdlatul Ulama (PWNU) in Surabaya on Tuesday.

The government had suspended the distribution of AstraZeneca’s vaccines following a report on their side-effects.

With the results of a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the European drugs authority showing that the vaccine is safe for use, the government has now decided to restart distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Indonesia received 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under the COVAX facility, the global initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, on March 8 this year.

Source: Antara News

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