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Indonesia: Shortages slow down vaccination campaign

Vaccines administered this month drop to 200,000-300,000 doses a day from 500,000 last month, says official

Nicky Aulia Widadio  | 20.04.2021 - Update : 20.04.2021
Indonesia: Shortages slow down vaccination campaign ( MUHAMMAD A.F - Anadolu Agency )

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Indonesia's vaccine campaign slowed down in April due to limited stocks after India blocked exports of AstraZeneca jabs, an official said on Monday. 

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the Health Ministry vaccination spokesperson, said the number of vaccines administered this month dropped to 200,000-300,000 doses a day compared to some half-million daily last month.

She said the number of vaccines that arrived this month was lower than targeted as the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) delayed delivery of 10 million doses of AstraZeneca jabs to Indonesia through the COVAX facility, meant to deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries,

The delay occurred due to India blocking exports of AstraZeneca vaccine produced in the country after a surge in cases.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the government could only allocate 8 to 10 million doses this month, a decline from the initial target of 15 million doses.

"We have to reduce the inoculation rate so that there won't be a single day passing without vaccination until the next supply is available," Sadikin said Sunday.

The government said it is prioritizing the elderly in the nation of some 270 million to receive the available jabs.

At least 10.8 million people to date have received their first doses, while second doses have been given to around 5.9 million, according to official data.

Indonesia has agreed to purchase vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Pfizer-BioNTech to meet the need for 420 million doses nationwide.

However, a shipment of 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine agreed upon through COVAX bilateral and multilateral cooperation is expected to be delayed until next year.

Sadikin said this was due to rising global vaccine competition after producing countries, including the US and India, decided to prioritize their jabs for domestic needs.

Indonesia is planning to add 100 million more doses of their order to Sinovac to anticipate delays in shipments of AstraZeneca vaccines as the Chinese firm can meet its distribution target on time.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency's Indonesian-language services in Jakarta

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