Jakarta. Indonesia has received 1.2 million doses of vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech and the county's drug supervisory was expected to give an emergency use authorization for the vaccine soon, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said on Monday.
The vaccines were the first part of 3 million doses of procurement from Sinovac that the country planned to use in the first wave of vaccination, mainly for health and frontline workers.
Sinovac has yet to announce the result of their stage III clinical trials, one of which is still underway in Bandung, West Java, involving more than 1,600 volunteers. Sinovac's stage II preliminary result showed the vaccine 70 percent efficacy. In comparison, vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna have shown the efficacy of more than 90 percent from their stage III clinical trials.
Still, Terawan is confident that Indonesia's Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) would approve Sinovac's vaccine for emergency use.
"The vaccine will be immediately authorized for emergency use by BPOM according to scientific and statutory requirements," Terawan said in a press conference on Monday.
The vaccine arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Sunday night. A security forces motorcade then escorted the vaccine to a storage facility owned by a state-controlled pharmaceutical company Bio Farma in Bandung, West Java.
The Health Ministry has named six producers that can supply vaccines to Indonesia, including Bio Farma, AstraZeneca, China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), Moderna, Pfizer and BioNtech, and Sinovac Biotech, according to the ministry regulation published last week.
Indonesia can use any of the producer's vaccine as soon as they secured the emergency use authorization from BPOM, the regulation said.
The regulation also dictates that the Health Ministry would be responsible for administering the vaccines needed in the government's free vaccination program covering about 32 million people.
Meanwhile, the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry will be the sole entity responsible for selling vaccines to the remaining Indonesians who can afford to pay.