Jakarta (ANTARA) - Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used as a booster following the Supreme Court’s decision on the halal vaccines that the government can use for the immunization program, a Health Ministry spokesperson has said.

"For people who feel comfortable using the Sinovac vaccine, we open up opportunities for the vaccine to be used for booster vaccination," spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinations at the ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, informed at a press conference on ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Dynamics,’ accessed from here on Monday.

The ministry respects the Supreme Court's decision No. 31 P/HUM/2022 on the recommendation to provide halal vaccines in the national vaccination program.

Tarmizi said that the COVID-19 vaccines that have been declared halal by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) are the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines.

The MUI has recommended several types of vaccines for emergencies, she added.

Currently, the vaccines that are being used in the national vaccination program are Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, and Sinopharm vaccines, she said.

The spokesperson stressed that the vaccines that have been widely circulated in Indonesia are also vaccines that are being widely used in other Muslim countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, and Bahrain.

"It is also proven that in those Muslim countries, the cases of COVID-19 can be controlled until now," she added.

As part of efforts to boost community immunity against COVID-19, the Indonesian government rolled out a nationwide vaccination program targeting 208,265,720 citizens on January 13, 2021. President Joko Widodo was the first vaccine recipient under the program.

According to the Health Ministry's data, as of Monday (April 25, 2022), nearly 198,976,344 Indonesians have received their first COVID-19 jab, 164,063,663 have been fully vaccinated, and 35,264,290 have received the booster shot.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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