Surabaya-BRIN Public Relations. After passing the pre-clinical trials 1 and 2 from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), the locally developed Merah Putih Vaccine is now entering Phase 1 Clinical Trial. A total of 90 volunteers received the Merah Putih Vaccine shots in this Phase 1 Clinical Trial. These volunteers have passed the administrative requirements with the age range of 18 to 60 years old and have not yet received the first dose of vaccine.

The Merah Putih vaccine, the result of research collaboration between Airlangga University and PT Biotis Pharmaceuticals, is relatively fast in the production. This vaccine is based on attenuated viruses, much like Sinovac. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) supports the endeavor through research facilitation and innovation, namely in the testing of health innovation products ranging from medical devices to vaccines.

“This clinical trial can prove that this Merah Putih vaccine is scientifically proven, unquestionable, and proven regulatorily, hence people will feel safe using this vaccine,” said Agus Haryono, BRIN’s Acting Deputy for Facilitation of Research and Innovation, when attending the Launching of the Phase 1 Merah Putih Vaccine Clinical Trial, on Wednesday (9/2), at Dr Soetomo Regional Hospital, Surabaya.

Dr Soetomo Hospital will play an important role in the clinical trial of the Merah Putih Vaccine. The clinical trial will be administered in 3 phases. “If the first phase proves good results, it will be continued to the second phase which will involve 400 volunteers, then the third phase which will involve 5,000 volunteers,” said Joni Wahyudi, Director of Dr Soetomo Hospital when presenting his report in front of the invited guests.

Khofifah Indar Parawansa, the Governor of East Java, call on all parties to support and pray for the successful process of clinical trial. “Let us all pray for the success of this clinical trial until its effective production. We need strong commitment. We need a strong partnership,” said Khofifah in her welcoming remark.

Khofifah added, screening needs to be done again to mobilize volunteers from various circles of society who have yet to receive vaccination, especially in East Java. In addition, dissemination of information related to the updated information of the Merah Putih Vaccine needs to be encouraged in various countries in the world.

Halal Certified

The Merah Putih vaccine has become the hope of the Indonesian people. “Moreover, the Merah Putih has obtained Halal certification valid from 7 February  2022 to 6 February 2026. With this halal certification, we hope more people will get vaccinated,” said Mohammad Nasih, Rector of Airlangga University.

Regarding the use of this Merah Putih Vaccine, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, emphasized that the use of this vaccine is for children, especially those aged 3-6 years, because they have not been vaccinated.

“In addition, in line with the President’s direction, this Merah Putih vaccine can also be used as donation from the government of the Republic of Indonesia to other countries that need halal vaccines, for example in Africa,” said Budi. For this reason, Budi Gunadi reminded the relevant parties to register the vaccine with the WHO as soon as possible to determine its level at the international level.

This Merah Putih Vaccine also serve as the proof of the nation’s independence,  not dependent on foreign products, and even Indonesia will become a Vaccine Donor. “Coinciding with Indonesia as the G20 Presidency, it is the right time for the Merah Putih Vaccine to be used internationally as a grant vaccine to other countries, especially Muslim countries that need Halal-labeled vaccines,” concluded Muhadjir Effendy, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture. (sao/ ed: drs)