Workers unload a container of Covid-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac Biotech at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten on March 25, 2021. (Videography)
Indonesia Says Vaccination Reduces Number of Active Covid-19 Cases
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO, MARIA FATIMA BONA
MARCH 25, 2021
Jakarta. A senior Indonesian health official claimed on Thursday that the number of active Covid-19 cases has plummeted after 9 million doses of vaccine were administered.
The remarks came after another delivery of millions of vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech arrived at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten on Thursday.
“At least 6 million Indonesian people have received Covid-19 vaccine, including 3 million who have received their second dose. It means that we have administered around 9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine,” Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono said in a news conference at the airport streamed live in the presidential secretariat’s YouTube account.
Dante claimed than 100 percent of registered medical workers -- around 1.4 million of them -- have been fully vaccinated.
“Now we are seeing a downturn in the number of active cases across Indonesia and also a decline in hospital bed occupancy rate. It proves that vaccine delivers great benefits and reduces the severity of Covid-19,” he said.
The total number of active cases stands at nearly 124,000, down sharply from more than 180,000 during the peak in January, according to government figures released on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases reached 1.48 million, including 39,983 deaths.
Indonesia launched the mass inoculation drive on January 13.
A Garuda Indonesia plane carrying the equivalent of 16 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine arrived at the airport earlier in the day. The delivery came just in time as the government is accelerating vaccination campaign prioritizing essential workers and elderly citizens.
“The latest delivery of vaccine supplies will for sure add the pace to the government’s vaccination campaign,” Dante said.
The plane carried half-finished Sinovac vaccine to be reproduced by state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma.
Indonesia has received at least 19 million doses of Sinovac vaccine since the first delivery on December 6, while Bio Farma has so far produced another 24 million doses under license from the Chinese company.
Of that amount, the Drug and Food Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has issued lot release for 17 million doses of Bio Farma-made vaccine, company spokesman Bambang Heriyanto said on Wednesday.
The Indonesian company has distributed 16.5 million doses of its vaccine across all 34 provinces, Bambang said.
In addition, the country also took delivery of 1.1 million doses of UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine on March 8 through the UN-backed multilateral procurement scheme Covax.
The UK vaccine is currently being used after a brief delay due to reports of blood clots after it was administered in several European countries.