Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (Menkes RI), Ir. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, CHFC., CLU., expressed his support for the development of the Merah Putih vaccine by Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR). It was stated directly during the Open Assembly of the 67th UNAIR Anniversary on Tuesday, November 9, 2021.
According to Ir. Budi, UNAIR’s vaccine preclinical test on animals, shows good results and has high efficiency. Thus, for the next stage, the clinical trials on humans, it is submitted to PT. Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia.
Furthermore, Ir. Budi explained that the first phase of clinical trials examines the safety aspects of the vaccine, and it requires 100 people as volunteers. Then, the second phase of clinical trials will involve about 400 people to see aspects related to its immunogenicity. Furthermore, the third phase of clinical trials will involve about 3,000 people to see the vaccine’s efficacy.
“I pray that it will go smoothly so that in the second half of next year, the Merah Putih vaccine can be produced. It also relies heavily on assistance from the East Java Governor, because the plan will be carried out in Surabaya,” he explained.
Regarding the third phase of the clinical trial, continued Ir. Budi, it is still in the drafting stage. So, besides being used for the regular vaccination process given twice, a scenario related to the use of vaccines as a booster and for children should be developed.
“So, the first scenario is used for two injections, then for the second scenario, the vaccine will be injected as a booster so that it can strengthen the previous vaccine. And the third scenario, the vaccine will be injected twice, targeting children under 12 years old,” Ir. Budi explained.
On the same occasion, Ir. Budi also witnessed the handover of vaccine seed from the Rector of UNAIR to PT. Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia. Ir. Budi revealed that what UNAIR and PT. Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia did was an extraordinary thing because it can complete the research process to preclinical trials in less than one year.
Since the beginning of the development, added Ir. Budi, the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), has been involved. So all parties support the acceleration of the first national vaccine development.
“Once again, I’d like to express a very high sense of pride towards my colleagues at UNAIR for being the first to create a domestic vaccine production. I’d also express my deepest gratitude to PT. Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia. I’d pray that UNAIR to be better than before and will be better in the future than the current condition,” he concluded. (*)