Indonesian's authority has dropped the controversial Nusantara candidate vaccine from its national COVID-19 vaccination program

Oleh: Infomedikini

Friday, 23 April 2021

Indonesian's government has dropped the controversial Nusantara candidate vaccine from its national COVID-19 vaccination program in spite of growing political support for its development.

Vaccines shortage

However, the pressure is still with the authority to give its nod to Nusantara’s development since the national program has slowed down because of a shortage of vaccines, all of which currently are imported.

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Unswayed BPOM

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has resisted pressure to approve phase two of the clinical trials for Nusantara, which uses a dendritic cell-based approach.

Proponents of the vaccine say Indonesia would be able to produce 10 million doses a month starting as early as October, if given the BPOM nod, which would give a big boost to the national vaccination program.

Transparency issue

The BPOM, however, has refused, citing a lack of transparency in its development, including in phase one of the clinical trials, and a failure to follow standard international scientific protocols for developing drugs.

Perfect scapegoat

The BPOM took a lot of beating for this, with accusations of its lack of patriotism in support for the home-grown vaccine and the national campaign for vaccine sovereignty.

More hurdles lie ahead

Indonesia rolled out the national vaccination program in January with an ambitious target of inoculating 180 million people — or 70 percent of the population – to achieve herd immunity in the next 12 months.

Delays in shipments of vaccine from foreign suppliers, however, have slowed down the program. With two doses for each person and allowing for waste, the government says Indonesia needs at least 400 million doses of vaccine.

Better late than never

The government has commissioned research on the development of a vaccine called Merah Putih (Red and White, after the national flag), but this won’t be available before 2023. Source:


Last-Modified: Wednesday, 8 December 2021 15:56:34 GMT



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