Indonesia to start mass COVID-19 vaccination in 2020: Jokowi

  • Indonesia has sought emergency authorisation to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of 2020 to combat the coronavirus in the archipelago, the Southeast Asian nation’s president said.
  • President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, said plans were already advanced to distribute the vaccine across the entire country.
  • If approval is granted by the country’s food and drug agency, known by its Indonesian acronym BPOM, it will mean Indonesia – with 270 million people, the world’s fourth most populous country – will be among the first in the world to roll out a coronavirus vaccine.
  • “We expect to start the vaccination process by end-2020 following a series of tests by BPOM,” Jokowi said. Indonesia has struggled to suppress the coronavirus for months but the steady rise in infection rates has plateaued in the past few weeks, according to official figures.
  • Jokowi added that ensuring the safety of the vaccine was a priority, and that health workers, police and the military would be first in line when the vaccination campaign begins.
  • At a ministerial roundtable after the Jokowi interview, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said the government expects BPOM approval in the first week of Dec 20 and for Indonesia to “begin vaccinating” two weeks later.
  • Vaccines produced by China’s Sinovac SVA.O and Sinopharm are slated to be used in the early stages of the campaign. This year, the companies will provide 18 million vaccines, including 15 million that will be manufactured by Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma.
  • All up, Indonesia has deals for more than 250 million doses until the end of 2021. This includes 30 million produced by the U.S. company Novavax NVAX.O, co-ordinating minister for the economy, Airlangga Hartarto told Reuters.

External Link :