Indonesia approves China-made mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for emergency usage

Indonesia is reportedly the first nation to use an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in an emergency, even before China, despite the vaccine being produced by Chinese company, Walvax Biotechnology Co., Ltd.

The food and pharmaceuticals department of Indonesia approved the use of the mRNA vaccine, which was under development for over two years and focuses specifically on the original strain of Coronavirus.

In spite of this, Walvax has not yet released results from its late-stage trial of the vaccine, now called AWcorna, that would demonstrate its effectiveness in lowering COVID incidence and mortality.

Although China has many mRNA candidates under development, Walvax vaccine is the only participant in the late-stage league of clinical trials.

It is worth noting that more than 63% of the population in Indonesia has received all the necessary vaccinations, and hence, it was not known how effectively the recently approved vaccine would be covered across the country. In addition, health professionals all over the world prefer vaccines that target Omicron variants over the ones that emphasize the original COVID virus.

According to the researchers, Indonesia is also using the mRNA COVID vaccines produced by other pharmaceutical companies including the ones from Moderna Inc., and the ones jointly developed by Pfizer Inc. & -BioNTech SE.

Interestingly, AWcorna has a longer shelf life, which keeps it stable at 2-8 degrees Celsius for a minimum of six months, thus making it more suitable for countries with relatively minimal logistics in faraway places.

For those unaware, the vaccine was jointly developed by Suzhou Abogen Biosciences Co., Ltd., Walvax, and a Chinese military-backed firm. Further, both Suzhou Abogen and Walvax are also independently developing mRNA candidates focusing on the original Coronavirus strain.

Meanwhile, China has not approved any COVID-19 injections made in Western countries, and those that are currently in its licensed portfolio do not specifically address the Omicron variant.

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