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Indonesia to start COVID-19 vaccination at year-end

Indonesia to start COVID-19 vaccination at year-end
August 28
10:21 2020

JAKARTA: Indonesia plans to vaccinate millions of people against COVID-19 at the end of this year in the hope of slowing down the fast transmission of coronavirus in the country. Deputy Chairman of the COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery Committee Erick Thohir said on Thursday that a total of 15 million people would be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine in the months ahead, Xinhua news agency reported.

As many as 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be received from the cooperation with the Chinese biopharmaceutical producer Sinovac Biotech and the G42 firm from the United Arab Emirates will be used for the vaccination, he said.

“One person will need two doses of vaccine. The vaccination will start at the end of 2020 should the clinical trials run smoothly,” Thohir told lawmakers in a session at the parliament. Head of the Food and Drug Control Agency Penny Kusumastuti Lukito said on July 21 that Indonesia has entered the third phase of clinical trials of the vaccine, meaning that the vaccine is close to being approved.

Thohir who is also minister for state-owned enterprises pointed out that one person will be vaccinated twice with the second shot given two weeks after the first one. For next year, he said that the government has planned to secure 290 million to 340 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to cooperation with the two firms, Minister Thohir said Indonesia kept striving to produce vaccines for the virus by itself. President Joko Widodo has stressed that priority of the vaccination would be put on the group of people who are vulnerable to the virus transmission, such as the elderly group and the paramedics.

COVID-19 has been spreading in Indonesia with daily confirmed cases at over 1,500. The Health Ministry reported 2,719 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 162,884 with the fatalities totaling 7,064.

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