Portugal has followed the lead of other European Union countries and stopped rolling out AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine after reports of "serious but rare" side effects, health chief Graca Freitas said on Monday.
In an interview on Saturday, Dr Swaminathan said they are "thrilled with the vaccines that we have" but that "we can improve further". Only 122 countries have started immunizing people, according to data collected by Bloomberg.
The latest BPOM decision means that Indonesia joins a list of at least 10 countries including neighboring Thailand who suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccine.
"Remember, the best vaccine for you is the one available now", Henry said. Companies with Covid-19 vaccines already in use have also begun testing updated version created to thwart variants of the coronavirus that have emerged in recent months.
"We need to continue to support the research and development of more vaccine candidates, especially as the need for ongoing booster immunization of populations is still not very clear at this point", Dr Swaminathan said. "So we need to be prepared for that in the future".
Swaminathan noted that some 300 million doses of a variety of coronavirus vaccines have been given to people around the world, and "there is no documented death that has been linked to a COVID vaccine".
"Hopefully it won't take long", she said. A small number of recipients developed blood clots after at least one dose - and one person died of clotting - but the World Health Organization cautions there's no evidence AstraZeneca's vaccine caused the adverse outcomes.