Indonesia received COVID-19 vaccine doses and raw materials from two Chinese companies on Friday.
A shipment of 482,400 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine – approved for emergency use just a day earlier – and raw materials for 6 million doses of the Sinovac jab arrived in the island country.
Indonesia has so far received raw materials for 65.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine and 8.4 million ready-to-use doses of the Sinovac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca jabs.
The Sinopharm vaccine will be used for the country’s mutual aid vaccination program, while the Sinovac jab is for the national immunization drive, according to Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate.
The mutual aid vaccination program allows private companies to purchase vaccines for employees in addition to the government’s ongoing rollout, he explained.
Companies, however, have to provide the vaccine to workers for free.
“National vaccination is one of our efforts to achieve herd immunity,” Plate said in an online news conference.
Indonesia has seen one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia, with its infections tally now above 1.66 million and the death toll over 45,000.
- ‘Sinopharm jab has 78% efficiency’
Announcing emergency use authorization for the Sinopharm jab on Thursday, the head of Indonesia’s Food and Drug Administration said the vaccine showed 78% efficiency in the third phase of clinical trials in the UAE.
Penny Lukito said only 0.01% of the recipients reported mild side effects, including swelling, pain, and redness, while only 0.1% reported systemic side effects, including headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, and cough.
The authority allowed the use of the vaccine for adults aged over 18, with recipients to get two doses within the space of 21 to 28 days.
*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta