Coronavirus South-east Asia

Vaccine plans of some South-east Asian countries

INDONESIA

Vaccines acquired/pending: Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Merah Putih, Pfizer Strategy: First shots will go to health workers and support staff. Then those aged 18 to 59, before the elderly. Goal: To vaccinate 181.5 million people - about two-thirds of the population - by March next year.

PHILIPPINES

Vaccines acquired/pending: AstraZeneca, Novavax, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Moderna Strategy: To begin vaccinations from the first quarter of this year. Starting with medical front liners and workers in critical industries. Goal: To vaccinate entire population of over 100 million people by 2023.

THAILAND

Vaccines acquired/pending: Sinovac, AstraZeneca Strategy: To receive and start administering vaccine doses next month. Medical workers will be first, with the elderly and people with chronic illnesses coming second. Goal: To inoculate half of its nearly 70 million population by this year.

MALAYSIA

Vaccines acquired/pending: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CanSino Strategy: To start vaccinations next month. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be among the first individuals in the country to receive the vaccine, as well as front-line healthcare workers and those in high-risk groups. Goal: The target is to vaccinate at least 27 million people - 80 per cent of its population - by the first quarter of next year.

SINGAPORE

Vaccines acquired/pending: Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, Lunar-Cov19 Strategy: Vaccine roll-out started in December last year. Front-line workers, the elderly and vulnerable are given priority. As at last week, more than 60,000 people had received their first dose of the vaccine. Goal: All Singaporeans and long-term residents will be able to get vaccinated by the end of this year.


The authorities across South-east Asia are scrambling to roll out vaccination programmes amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

This month, the number of Covid-19 infections in the region topped 1.8 million, while deaths exceeded 40,000.

Singapore became the first country in the region to start its vaccination programme in December, while Indonesia began administering doses earlier this month.

Some countries have set ambitious goals to inoculate the majority of their population within the year, while others are still awaiting the arrival of vaccine supplies.

However, even with inoculation plans in place, the authorities face challenges such as regulatory approval, procurement and distribution issues, as well as gaining public trust in administering the life-saving shots.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2021, with the headline Vaccine plans of some South-east Asian countries. Subscribe