Indonesia declares suspended AstraZeneca vaccine batch safe to use

May 28 , 2021. 15 hours ago – 19:05 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 declared Thursday that a batch of AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine, suspended earlier this month following the death of a 22-year-old man a day after his inoculation with the vaccine, is safe to use.

In a press statement, the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency concluded that the vaccine batch “meets quality requirements and is safe to use.”

The conclusion, the agency said, was made based on the results of sterility and toxicity tests it conducted, during which it found “there was no correlation between the quality of the AstraZeneca vaccine batch and the reported side effects.”

“Therefore, the vaccine batch can be used again,” the agency stressed.

The Ministry of Health suspended the distribution and use of the batch on May 16 after 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 in question, consisting of about 450,000 doses, arrived last month. It had earlier been distributed to Jakarta and North Sulawesi Province in central Indonesia and the military.

It is part of the 3,852,000 AstraZeneca doses 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.

Indonesia has fully inoculated almost 10.2 million of its 187 million eligible citizens under a nationwide vaccination drive that started in mid-January.