AKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia on Friday cleared the AstraZeneca vaccine for re-use after an EU drug regulator said the vaccine did not increase the overall blood count.
The largest economy in South Asia has delayed the release of COVID-19 vaccines after more than a dozen European countries suspended the vaccine due to blood clots in some vaccines.
“The benefits of using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the potential risks for us to start using it,” the Indonesian Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
The World Health Organization has previously said it sees no evidence that the vaccine is responsible for blood clots.
The Indonesian agency says that the risk of death from COVID-19 is much higher. “Therefore, the community still has to vaccinate against COVID-19 according to the schedule.”
Indonesia received 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX on March 8 as a comprehensive effort to ensure fair global access to COVID-19 vaccines, with 10 10 million expected next month.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is the second to arrive in Indonesia after being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
Indonesia aims to vaccinate more than 181 million of its 270 million people by March 2022 as part of a free vaccine that began in January.