Indonesia suspends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine batch after death

May 17 , 2021. 12 hours ago – 21:58 KYODO NEWS

Photo shows bottles of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford. (Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca)(Kyodo)

JAKARTA – The Indonesian government said Sunday it has suspended the distribution and use of a batch of AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine following the death of a 22-year-old man a day after his inoculation with the vaccine.

The Ministry of Health called the suspension “a prudent effort by the government to ensure the safety of the vaccine,” and said it plans to continue to use other batches of the vaccine it has received.

The results of sterility and toxicity tests by the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency are expected to come out within one to two weeks.

The batch in question, consisting of about 450,000 doses, arrived last month. It is part of the 3,852,000 AstraZeneca doses that Indonesia has received through the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility.

COVAX is an international vaccine distribution platform set up to ensure equitable access to shots for developing countries.

Local media reported that the man received a jab from the batch in the capital Jakarta on May 5 and died the next day. The batch had been distributed to Jakarta and North Sulawesi Province in central Indonesia, as well as to the military, according to the ministry.

Indonesia has fully inoculated almost 9 million of its 187 million eligible citizens under a nationwide vaccination drive that started in mid-January.

Cr. KYODO NEWS