A health worker injects a dummy vaccine to a patient in a Covid-19 vaccination simulation in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, on Dec 18. (Antara Photo/ /Jojon)

Indonesia Secures 100m Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine from Astrazeneca, Novavax

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA, ADI MARSIELA

DECEMBER 30, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia has secured 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the US-based vaccine producer Novavax.

"Thank God. Today, the government has witnessed significant progress, which is the signing of the purchase agreement of 50 million doses from AstraZeneca and 50 million doses from Novavax by Bio Farma," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told an online press conference on Wednesday. 

This is not the only good news in the fight against Covid-19. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, 1.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinovac Biotech will arrive in Indonesia on Thursday.

"With this, there are 3 million doses of Sinovac vaccine in Indonesia," Retno said.

Indonesia has inked the purchase contract of 125 million doses of the vaccine from Sinovac and another 100 million from Novavax. In total, Indonesia has secured at least 660 million doses of vaccine. The country aimed to begin vaccinating 181 million of its 270 million population next month.

On Dec. 6, 1.2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in Indonesia. Sinovac's Indonesian counterpart, Bio Farma, has been running a phase 3 clinical trial on the vaccine in Bandung since August. But the Sinovac vaccine would have to wait for the Food and Drug Control Agency's (BPOM) evaluation. The BPOM will have to check its quality, safety, and effectiveness before giving its nod of approval.

"We are relieved, thank God, that the vaccine is available. This means we can immediately prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading. But to start the vaccination, it requires several stages from the BPOM," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in a video statement uploaded by the Presidential Secretariat on Dec. 6. 

"All procedures must be carried out properly to ensure the people's health, safety, and the vaccine's effectiveness," he added.

Jokowi said 1.8 million doses from Sinovac would arrive in early January 2021. There will also be 45 million doses of the vaccine — shipped in raw materials — which will then be processed by Bio Farma. The 15 million doses of the raw materials will be received this month, while the remaining 30 million will come in January 2021.

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 a ministry regulation signed by former Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto. Based on the regulation, the Covid-19 vaccine is only usable with BPOM's emergency use authorization.

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