Indonesia gets 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses via Covax facility

Indonesia aims to inoculate some 181 million people within a year. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia has received about 1.1 million ready-to-use doses of vaccine produced by AstraZeneca under the global vaccine-sharing Covax facility, its foreign minister said on Monday (March 8).

The South-east Asian nation has reported one of the worst Covid-19 caseloads in Asia.

It launched a vaccination drive in January, aiming to inoculate some 181 million people within a year.

Before Monday's delivery, Indonesia had about 38 million doses of vaccine produced by China's Sinovac Biotech.

Nearly 3.1 million people have received a shot as at Monday, official data shows.

Indonesia will get about 11.7 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine through Covax, which will come in stages through May, Minister Retno Marsudi said.

"Besides efforts to secure domestic supplies, Indonesia's support for the principle of equal access to vaccines for all needs to continue," she said in an online news briefing from the Jakarta airport after the plane that carried the vaccine landed.

Mr Bambang Heriyanto, corporate secretary of state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma, said that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be stored in its facilities and it could start being used once there is an emergency use approval by the country's food and drug agency BPOM.

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia's health minister, warned earlier on Monday that people should not get their hopes too high for a speedy vaccination due to limited supply.

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