Indonesia on Tuesday received the fourth shipment of raw materials for 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Chinese company Sinovac, according to the country’s health authority.
The Health Ministry said the raw materials arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in the morning after transiting through Singapore with another million doses of raw materials as overfilling.
Bambang Heriyanto, the spokesperson for the Indonesian pharmaceutical company Bio Farma, said 10 million doses of the raw materials will be processed into vaccines starting on Feb. 13 and is expected to be completed on March 20.
“All of this bulk will go through quality testing and strict control by the Bio Farma laboratory and BPOM [Food and Drug Supervisory Agency] to ensure that the vaccines meet the quality standards,” said Heriyanto.
“These 10 million doses will be used for the second phase of vaccination for public service officers,” said Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the ministry’s spokesperson for vaccination, in a virtual conference.
Tarmizi said 17.4 million public service employees will be the priority beneficiaries of the second phase of the vaccination campaign, which will begin at the end of February. At that time, inoculation of 1.5 million health workers will be completed, she added.
Indonesia has so far received 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in two shipments in December. Health professionals are being vaccinated in the first phase of the campaign.
In January, the country received 12 million doses of the vaccine in raw materials and its manufacturing will be completed by Feb. 11.
Indonesia will gradually receive a total of 140 million vaccines from Sinovac until July.
The country, recording over 1 million coronavirus cases and more than 30,000 fatalities to date, started its vaccine rollout on Jan. 13, with the president being the first recipient.
The Sinovac shot remains the only vaccine that has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Health Ministry, more than 539,000 health staff received the first dose of the vaccine, of whom 35,000 received the second dose on Tuesday morning.
The country has intended to vaccinate 181.5 million people in 15 months to achieve herd immunity.
Tens of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be obtained from AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility, co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the World Health Organization, and the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi.
It has also obtained coronavirus vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and American Novavax, and is also working on a Pfizer-BioNTech jab contract.
* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta.
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