Bio Farma's spokesman Bambang Heriyanto in a virtual press conference broadcasted from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, on Feb. 2, 2021. (JG Screenshot)

Fourth Batch of Sinovac Vaccine Arrives in Indonesia

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

FEBRUARY 02, 2021

Jakarta. The fourth batch of Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday.

The delivery comprised 10 million doses of Sinovac vaccine in bulk form to be later processed by state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma. Sinovac also shipped one million doses for overfill or an extra volume to anticipate the production process at Bio Farma.

"In total, Indonesia now has 28 million doses of vaccine and vaccine candidate," the Health Ministry's secretary-general Oscar Primadi told a press conference broadcasted from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, on Tuesday.

According to Bio Farma's spokesman Bambang Heriyanto, this batch is part of the requested 140 million doses of Sinovac's bulk vaccine for 2021. Indonesia will gradually receive the remaining bulk until July. This year's bulk vaccine delivery was initially scheduled to be completed by November.

"The shipment follows last month's delivery of 15 million doses of Sinovac's vaccine bulk and another 1.5 million doses for overfill," Bambang said.

Bio Farma has started processing the earlier batch and aims to produce 13 million doses by Feb. 11. The state-owned enterprise will also begin working on the new bulk on Feb. 13 with the completion deadline on March 20.

All processed bulk will undergo an array of tests and strict quality control by Bio Farma and the National Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM). 

Bio Farma will change the vaccine’s name on the packaging from “Coronavac” to “Covid-19 Vaccine”. Each vial will also contain more doses. The ready-to-use Coronavac vaccine comes in a single dose-vial with 40 vials for each box. In comparison, Bio Farma will use a 10-dose vial for the processed bulk.

“A box carries 10 vials and in other words, 100 doses. The different packaging will not affect the quality of the vaccine,” Bambang said.

Vaccination Progress

Health Ministry's Covid-19 vaccination spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi revealed more than 500,000 medical workers out of the targeted 1.5 million have gotten their Covid-19 jab.

So far, the National Commission for Post-Immunization Events (KIPI) has yet to receive any report on severe reaction to the vaccine.

"Judging by the number of vaccinated health workers and decades of experience on vaccination, we are optimistic we can accomplish the 1.5 million target by the end of February, at the latest," Nadia said.

The government will use the recently landed doses to inoculate public service workers on the second phase of the vaccine rollout. There are 17.4 million public service workers to be vaccinated.

Indonesia seeks to deliver shots to 181.5 million people to create herd immunity.

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