Indonesia health agency suspects dozens of clinics using fake vaccines

Indonesia health agency suspects dozens of clinics using fake vaccines
Fake vaccine medication being displayed at the Criminal Investigation Agency of the National Police (BARESKRIM) at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on June 22, 2016.
Photo: AFP

At least 35 privately operated health facilities allegedly held and used fake vaccines in the capital amid concerns about a recent police investigation revealing the widespread use of counterfeit vaccines across the country, according to findings by the Jakarta Health Agency.

The suspicions about dozens of health facilities arose over a lack of proper documents accompanying the vaccine purchases, Jakarta Health Agency head Koesmedi Priharto revealed on Friday.

The agency had seized vaccines to be examined further by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM).

"We suspect that those health facilities possessed fake vaccines because they could not show us the purchase invoices and proper procedures for the vaccine orders," he said in a press conference at City Hall adding that the finding resulted from the monitoring of vaccine procurement conducted by the agency at 605 health facilities across Jakarta since June 28.

The 35 health facilities consisted of private doctors and joint doctor and midwife practices mostly located in East Jakarta, Koesmedi explained.

The National Police's Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) has so far named 17 suspects in the fake vaccines case.

One of the suspects is a midwife identified as Manogu Elly Novita who is alleged to have had a role in fake vaccine distribution through her clinic in Ciracas, East Jakarta.

Police investigators say four hospitals are suspected of being regular purchasers of the counterfeit vaccines although no details of the hospitals have been disclosed yet.

The health agency urged consumers to be careful in choosing health clinics and strongly suggested the public go to government-operated community health centers (Puskesmas), integrated health posts and public hospitals to get vaccines guaranteed to be original distributed by the Health Ministry, Koesmedi added.

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