Indonesia receives 1.8 million more doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

Reuters

Posted at Dec 31 2020 03:58 PM

Indonesia receives 1.8 million more doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine 1
Passengers wearing protective face masks line up for rapid antigen test at the Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 22, 2020, in this photo taken by Antara Foto/Fauzan/Reuters

JAKARTA - Indonesia received its second batch of coronavirus vaccines from Sinovac on Thursday, the country's foreign and health ministers said, as the world's fourth most populous country prepares a mass inoculation program.

The government took delivery of 1.8 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, adding to the 1.2 million it received on Dec. 6, and aims to vaccinate its 267 million population for free, starting with frontline health workers.

"Before people return to work in January, vaccines can be distributed to 34 provinces, so that we can start a vaccination program for health workers," health minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said in a live telecast.

"It will take us more than 12 months to complete this vaccination program," Budi added.

The country is expecting to receive coronavirus vaccines from AstraZeneca and Pfizer before the end of the year and by the first week of January respectively, having agreed to buy 50 million doses of each vaccine.

It is still awaiting authorization to start using the Sinovac vaccines.

In total, Indonesia has secured 329 million vaccine doses, including about 125 million from Sinovac, 50 million from Novavax and 54 million from the global vaccine program COVAX.

The country has recorded over 727,000 COVID-19 cases and 21,700 deaths, among Asia's highest tallies.

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