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Indonesia suspends distribution of batches of AstraZeneca vaccine

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Jakarta (Reuters)-Indonesia has stopped distributing a new batch of AstraZeneca PLC’s coronavirus vaccine to test for infertility and toxicity after a 22-year-old man died the day after vaccination. The Ministry of Health said on Sunday.

File photo: Healthcare workers prepare for AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination during a Green Zone Tourism mass vaccination program held in Sanur, Bali, Indonesia on March 23, 2021. To do. REUTERS / Nyimas Laula

The “CTMA V547” batch consists of 448,480 vaccinations that arrived in Southeast Asian countries last month. This is part of more than 3.85 million doses from a World Health Organization-sponsored COVAX facility.

The ministry said in a statement that some doses were distributed in the capital Jakarta and North Sulawesi and were also given to the military.

A national committee responsible for monitoring the effects of new coronavirus vaccination began an investigation earlier this month after a 22-year-old man in Jakarta died the day after receiving an injection of AstraZeneca.

The man received his dose from the CTMAV547 batch, Health Department spokesman Siti Nadia Tarmizi told Reuters.

“This is a form of government warning to ensure the safety of this vaccine,” she said in a statement, adding that distribution of other batches of AstraZeneca vaccine would not be affected.

Hindra Irawan Satari, chairman of the Vaccine Surveillance Commission, said batch testing could take at least two weeks.

“After it proves to be sterile and toxin-free, vaccine use will resume. The fastest time to get results is two weeks,” he said.

AstraZeneca personnel could not comment immediately.

Since the start of the pandemic early last year, Indonesia has recorded approximately 1.74 million cases of coronavirus infection, which causes potentially fatal COVID-19 respiratory illness. The death toll in the country is 47,967.

The government is pushing to accelerate vaccination programs to control the spread of the virus. As of Saturday, nearly 9 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to official data.

Report by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Written by Fransiska Nangoy; Edited by Clarence Fernandez and Christopher Cushing

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