Indonesia to receive 10 million doses of Sinovac vaccine this April

Indonesia to receive 10 million doses of Sinovac vaccine this April

Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokesperson of the Health Ministry's COVID-19 Vaccination. (FOTO ANTARA/Andi Firdaus).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is scheduled to receive another 10 million doses of Sinovac vaccine in April 2021, according to Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokesperson of the Health Ministry's COVID-19 Vaccination.

"This number adds to the availability of the Sinovac vaccine in the country, which has reached 28 million doses," she said in a text message here on Sunday.

Of the existing stock of 28 million doses, five million have been distributed to several provinces while 11 million doses will be distributed early this month.

The remaining 12 million doses are still under the process of vaccine production by state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma which has established cooperation with Sonovac.

She mentioned about India's policy on embargo of AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Indonesia. "Hence, the delivery is delayed until May 2021," she remarked.

Despite the delay in the AstraZeneca vaccine delivery, she was optimistic that the government would still be able to pursue a herd immunity target by vaccinating a total of 181.5 million Indonesians.

"This will be completed by the end of December 2021. Of course, there is still time for us to accelerate the vaccination coverage according to schedule," she noted.

She also ensured that the COVID-19 vaccination program will continue during the fasting month of Ramadan which will start on April 13. 

Meanwhile, during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in WuYi, Fujian province, China, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi submitted a proposal for turning Indonesia into a vaccine hub for Southeast Asia, as part of long-term vaccine cooperation.

"This idea is still in its early stage, but what we are proposing includes cooperation to strengthen vaccine development research, develop raw material industries, and increase national vaccine production capacity," she said during a press conference held from China on Friday.

The idea was discussed with Wang Yi during talks on strengthening vaccine partnership, both in the long and short term, she informed.

The two countries will hold further discussions on the long-term vaccine cooperation, but in principle, China has expressed its support for the Indonesian initiative, she said.

Related news: Indonesia offers to become vaccine hub for Southeast Asia : FM

During the meeting, Indonesia also expressed the hope that, in the short term, the Chinese government would continue to provide support so that the delivery of vaccines, which has become a binding commitment, can be carried out according to the agreed schedule, she said.

"We also discussed the issue of strengthening vaccine cooperation directly with vaccine producers in China," said Marsudi.

The discussion comes at a time when vaccine producing countries have imposed export restrictions and bans on the grounds of meeting domestic needs, as several countries are facing a spike in cases.

Related news: Ministry to obtain COVID-19 vaccine supply for April following embargo