Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) has issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for Sinopharm as the sixth vaccine brand to be used as a booster dose in Indonesia.

"The BPOM has evaluated the efficacy and safety of the Sinopharm vaccine as a homologous booster dose (against COVID-19) for adults aged 18 years and older," BPOM Head Penny K. Lukito stated here on Wednesday.

The Sinopharm vaccine, or the "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated," is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute Biological, China, and has been administered by the state pharmaceutical firm PT Kimia Farma as a homologous booster dose for adults aged 18 years and above at least six months after the completion of the primary doses.

Based on safety aspects, Lukito affirmed that the use of the Sinopharm vaccine as a booster shot can be well tolerated by its recipients. Its frequency, type, and severity of unexpected side effects after injection are lower than after the primary dose.

Some unexpected side effects that often occur include pain at the injection site, swelling and irritation, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain, with severity grades ranging from 1 to 2, she remarked.

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Meanwhile, based on the immunogenicity study on Sinopharm as a booster shot, the humoral immune response to the parameters of antibody neutralization measurement and anti-IgG increased by 8.4 times and eight times respectively as compared to before the booster, Lukito stated.

The recipient's immune system responds more strongly after being given a Sinopharm booster shot than the primary doses, she stated.

"The EUA for Sinopharm added an alternative for homologous booster vaccine in the inactivated virus platform," Lukito pointed out.

In addition, she advised the public to be wise and careful in terms of their medicinal and drug use for tackling COVID-19 and to not be easily drawn to promotions of medicinal products, traditional medicines, and health supplements, with claims to prevent or treat COVID-19.

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Translator: Andi F, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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