JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia received 16 million doses of Covid-19 bulk vaccine from China’s Sinovac Thursday, marking the seventh shipment of vaccine since the first batch arrived on December 6, 2020.
Besides Sinovac Biotech Ltd, Indonesia also received the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca under the COVAX program, which is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and GAVI vaccine alliance to provide vaccines to poor and middle-income countries earlier this month.
“Today, we managed to bring in the seventh shipment of the vaccine totaling 16 million doses of Covid-19 bulk vaccine,” said Deputy Health Minister Dante Harbuwono at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta on Thursday, March 25.
With this latest shipment, Dante said, Indonesia had received a total of 53.5 million doses of bulk vaccine. The newly-arrived bulk vaccine will be brought to state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma for further process of production.
“During the process, the vaccine will be evaluated in terms of quality by the BPOM [the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency] before it will be distributed to the public,” he said.
He said that the availability of vaccines is vital in the mass vaccination program. The sooner the government gets the vaccination done, the better the herding community could be achieved, he said.
To date, six million people have been vaccinated. Of this number, three million people have been given a second dose. Based on the government's evaluation, the vaccination program has shown positive developments such as reducing the transmission of the coronavirus among health workers and reducing active cases of Covid-19.
Elsewhere, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the arrival of the vaccine will boost confidence for the economic recovery and make people return to their activities.