The Garuda Indonesia aircraft, carrying the vaccine doses, departed from Beijing at 6:33 a.m. local time and was scheduled to arrive at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta's western outskirts of Tangerang at 00:10 p.m. local time.
"The vaccine doses, sent in bulk using refrigerated containers, will be developed and packed at Biofarma (the plant in Bandung)," Indonesian Vice Ambassador to China Dino Kusnadi stated on Tuesday.
Sinovac had earlier sent 1.2 million doses and 1.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Indonesia.
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Indonesia is one of the first countries to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in bulk after Sinovac and Biofarma inked a cooperation agreement in Hainan, China, in August 2020.
Shipment of the vaccine in bulk involved the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and Indonesian Embassy in China to help the export licensing process.
In addition to Sinovac, the Indonesian government has been on the lookout for other sources of the vaccine.
"Indonesia has signed a commitment letter for the supply of 50 million doses of the vaccine from the US company Novavax that used the sub-recombinant protein platform and 50 million doses from British company AstraZeneca that used the viral factor platform," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated recently.
AstraZeneca's vaccine has received the emergency-use authorization (EUA) from the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
"This is good news for us because the MHRA is a regulator that has in place a reliance mechanism with the BPOM, Indonesia's Food and Drug Control Agency. With this mechanism, EUA issuance for AstraZeneca will become easier, as it could be used as a basis and review to issue EUA in Indonesia," Marsudi elaborated.
Indonesia has ordered the COVID-19 vaccine from various sources: 125 million doses from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd; 100 million doses of US-Canada's Novavax; 100 million doses from British AstraZeneca; 100 million doses from Germany-US' Pfizer; and 16-100 million doses of free vaccine from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) as part of a multilateral cooperation.
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