Indonesia introduces five-in-one vaccine for children
22 AUGUST 2013 | JAKARTA | INDONESIA - Jakarta, Indonesia, 22 August 2013 – Children across Indonesia are set to be protected from five major childhood diseases through the pentavalent vaccine thanks to an ambitious plan to reach children across the country’s 6,000 inhabited islands by the end of next year.
GAVI is supporting Indonesia’s plan to introduce the vaccine nationwide as quickly as possible. The country expects the vaccine to reach children nationwide by the end of 2014 - almost half the time taken for a previous national vaccine introduction.
The pentavalent vaccine will be purchased from Bio Farma, a national vaccine supplier based in Bandung, 100 miles from the capital Jakarta, meaning that Indonesian children will benefit from Indonesian innovation. Distribution trucks are already transporting vaccine stocks from Bio Farma’s plant to regional cold store rooms ready for delivery across many of Indonesia’s most remote areas.
The vaccine, which contains five antigens in one shot and protects against diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), hepatitis B and Haemophilius influenzae type b (Hib), reduces the number of separate injections required for protection and minimises the number of health centre visits required. Indonesia previously used tetravalent which does not protect against Hib.
Indonesian Minister of Health HE Nafsiah Mboi was joined by Helen Evans, deputy CEO of the GAVI Alliance, at a launch event hosted by Dr H. Ade Swara, MH, Mayor of Karawang District.
Angela Kearney and Dr Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat from GAVI Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO also took part in the ceremony and James Gilling, Head of AusAID Indonesia and Australian Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, spoke on behalf of GAVI donors.
"With strong political will, Indonesia is making strides towards improving its routine immunisation programme and making it sustainable in the long term," said Helen Evans. "The Minister has rightly set an ambitious target for children in all parts of Indonesia to have access to the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine by the end of next year."
UNICEF is pleased to continue its support to the Government of Indonesia for the introduction of new vaccines", said Angela Kearney, UNICEF's Country Representative.
"Despite immunization programmes being in place for several decades, children in Indonesia continue to suffer and die from vaccine preventable diseases. Let us use the opportunity of the introduction of pentavalent vaccine to reach the poorest and hardest to reach children and protect them from preventable deaths and suffering."
"We applaud the collaborative and sustainable approach taken by Indonesia to develop and introduce pentavalent vaccine," said Dr Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat, WHO’s Country Representative. "It is one of many powerful and safe vaccines commercially available to countries that can reduce childhood deaths and disability. We hope this is the beginning of a new era in public health in Indonesia where highly cost-effective vaccines play an expanded role in reaching the country's millennium development goals."
The Government plans to introduce the vaccine in three phases.
Four provinces will begin immunising children immediately, a further nine provinces will begin in January 2014 and the rest of the country will begin their pentavalent programmes in July 2014.