Indonesia receives delivery of Covid-19 vaccine produced by Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinovac and Sinopharm at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on April 30, 2021. (Beritasatu Photo/ Emral Firdiansyah)

Indonesia Secures Supply Deal for 15 Million Sinopharm Vaccine Doses


MAY 19, 2021

Jakarta. Indonesia has reached a commitment for the supply of 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group or Sinopharm, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization issued Interim recommendations for the global use of Sinopharm vaccine.

The government has selected Sinopharm and Cansino vaccine, also from China, for vaccination campaign under initiative from the private sector, known as “gotong royong” (mutual works) program.

The program attracted more than 22,700 companies who have agreed to procure and distribute Covid-19 vaccine for their own workers without charge.

"For the gotong royong vaccination campaign, we select Sinopharm and CanSino. Thankfully we have secured a supply commitment from Sinopharm for 15 million doses to cover 7.5 million people until December," State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

He said his office is appealing for another 5 million doses from CanSino, which requires just one shot per person.

“We don't rule out cooperation with other vaccine producers from Europe, the United States or other countries,” Erick said.

Indonesia already received 420,000 Sinopharm doses that allowed the gotong royong program to begin on Tuesday.

As for the state-sponsored vaccination drive, the government has selected Chinese-made Sinovac and UK's AstraZeneca vaccines.

Vaccine procurement for both private and state programs is coordinated by a government team to prevent competition and black market sales.

According to the WHO, Sinopharm vaccine is “an inactivated vaccine with an adjuvant that is routinely used in many other vaccines with a documented good safety profile, including in pregnant women”.

However, the vaccine is not recommended for persons younger than 18 years of age, pending the results of further studies in that age group.

“A large multi-country Phase 3 trial has shown that two doses, administered at an interval of 21 days, have an efficacy of 79 percent against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes Covid-10] infection 14 or more days after the second dose. Vaccine efficacy against hospitalization was 79 percent,” the WHO said on its website.