A woman receives a jab of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 at Lebak Bulus Public Health Center in East Jakarta on August 23. 2021. (Beritasatu Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)
Indonesia to Receive 80 Million Covid Vaccines in September
BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO
AUGUST 24, 2021
Jakarta. Indonesia expects to receive 80.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine through government purchase and multilateral donations next month, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Tuesday.
The country has administered 91 million doses of Covid vaccine since the campaign began in mid-January and is hoping the vaccination drive to be in full swing with 2 million jabs per day this month.
However, shortages of vaccines are impeding efforts to ramp up inoculations.
“We will be taking more deliveries of vaccine in September, totaling 80.7 million doses,” the health minister said in a video conference.
A vast majority of the upcoming vaccines will come from China’s Sinovac Biotech, either CoronaVac or its Indonesian version renamed as Biovac vaccine -- which is produced by state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma under license from Sinovac.
The government will get 25 million CoronaVac doses and 23.3 million Biovac doses next month, Budi said.
Also coming next month are 7.1 million Pfizer doses and 5.4 million AstraZeneca doses purchased by the government, he said.
Meanwhile, UN-approved multilateral vaccine donor Covax will deliver 19.4 million doses to Indonesia.
In addition, Indonesia will take donation of 500,000 doses from a foreign government, bringing the total number of vaccines to 80.7 million for next month, he said.
Budi said in some cases shortages of vaccine at the regional level were mainly attributed to distribution issues.
“Regional governments have received 116 million doses and administered 91 million, meaning that provinces, districts and cities are still in possession of 25 million doses,” Budi said.
“Assuming that we average 1 million doses per day, we have enough supplies for 25 days.”
Problem arises because several regional governments opted to keep half of deliveries in their stock to ensure supplies for the second round of jabs, Budi said.
“We now encourage them to use all available vaccines and let the central government manage supplies for the second jabs,” Budi said.
But Budi admitted that in other areas, shortages are the real problem.
Jakarta normally distributes vaccines through provincial governments, who later will share them with cities and districts. The process may take days or even a week and some cities may not get a fair share.
“Therefore many district heads and mayors are complaining about not getting enough supplies,” Budi said.
In order to allow transparent vaccine supplies to regional governments, the Health Ministry has created a website containing real-time vaccine stocks and availability down to the district level.
“Everyone can check delivery volume, the amount of administered doses and the outstanding stock in their respective area. They can also calculate the vaccination rate on a weekly or daily basis,” Budi said.
“We now have a transparent system that allows mutual checks into vaccine supplies.”
The government targets to inoculate at least 208 million citizens to reach the so-called population immunity against Covid-19.