"The clinical trials have, so far, run smoothly, and we did not receive any report on those experiencing serious effects. It means that the clinical trials have run smoothly with good results," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated.
Speaking after partaking in a virtual meeting with President Joko Widodo, here, Marsudi noted that the Sinovac Biotech delegates had observed the clinical trial process and the production site of this candidate vaccine at state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma.
Delegates of this Chinese pharmaceutical company had visited Bandung to witness up close the production site of this candidate vaccine and the clinical trial process on Sept 20-24, Marsudi remarked, adding that Bio Farma had readied two buildings for production sites.
The Chinese delegates visited Building 21 that will serve to produce Sinovac's candidate vaccine, while Building 43 will function as a production site for other candidate vaccines, including those obtained from a multinational mechanism, she remarked.
Bio Farma had increased its production capacity, from 100 million doses to 250 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Marsudi revealed, adding that the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) delegates will also visit Sinovac's facilities in China as part of the government's precautionary measures in preparing the vaccines to be used in Indonesia.
The phase III of clinical trials of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine has been conducted since August this year, and if the BPOM declares that its results are safe, the vaccine can be massively produced and distributed to the public.
ANTARA noted that on Aug 30, 2020, the Padjadjaran University's Research Team for the Clinical Trials of Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine revealed that 248 volunteers, including West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, had been administered the vaccine.
As many as 21 of the 248 volunteers had also received the second vaccine injections without exhibiting serious symptoms, the Unpad's research team manager, Eddy Fadliyana, noted in a statement.
None of the participating volunteers suffered serious symptoms after receiving the first and second vaccine injections, Fadliyana stated, adding that research on the clinical trials can be concluded successfully to enable the vaccine to be produced.
Among the volunteers that have received the vaccine injections are West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and several officials of the provincial government.
The volunteers participating in phase III of the clinical trials received the vaccine injections at several health centers, including Unpad's Health Center and Faculty of Medicine as well as the Garuda, Ciumbuleuit, Dago, and Sukapakir Public Health Centers.
Novel coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.
Since then, COVID-19 has spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.
To tackle this COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned to develop a vaccine to fight the virus.
Currently, in addition to the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, Indonesian scientists are working on a vaccine named after the country's national flag, Merah Putih (Red and White).
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EDITED BY INE