Bio Farma launches pentavalent vaccine

Protects babies from five diseases

The Indonesian Ministry of Health is to introduce a new immunisation programme, and a pentavalent vaccine for babies.

One shot of the pentavalent vaccine, developed by Indonesian pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma, will prevent babies aged 2 months to 1 year from five diseases at once, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae Type B.

The vaccine has been in development since 2007 and has been launched along with a new immunisation programme by the Ministry of Health in Lapangan Karang Pawitan Kabupaten Karawang.

'The use of pentavalent vaccine is expected to diminish production costs, cold chain costs, injector costs, and encourage health officers to be efficient,' said Juliman, Production Director of Bio Farma. 'This cost efficiency will translate to affordability for the people.'

Bio Farma has held clinical trials for the pentavalent vaccine since 2010. It has also passed the Phase III clinical trial process, ensuring its efficacy for humans. The trial was conducted with Hasan Sadikin Hospital/Medical Faculty of Padjajaran University and Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital/Medical Faculty of Indonesian University. Pentavalent has also been registered with the National Agency of Drug & Food Control (NADFC).

'This year we will produce and supply the vaccine to four provinces, West Java, Bali, NTB and Yogyakarta, while later we will be able to produce and fulfill the demand of all provinces of Indonesia,' added Juliman. He predicted that the pentavalent vaccine demand in Indonesia will reach 15 million doses a year, based on the average number of births in Indonesia of five million each year.

Bio Farma plans to export the vaccine to other countries after it meets the WHO prequalification assessment, a requirement for the vaccine to be accepted internationally.