Indonesia approves Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Indonesia on Friday gave approval to Sinopharm of China, after already using Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca, since it is looking to give 181.5 million people the vaccine jab. The Sinopharm will be used in a private immunisation scheme, where government-procured vaccines are bought by companies for their staff.
The country has suffered one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, with 1.66 million infections and more than 45,000 deaths reported.
Chief of Indonesia's food and drug agency, Penny K. Lukito, stated that there were higher antibody rates and rare side effects in the receipents of Sinopharm vaccine.
Verdi Budidarmo, CEO of pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma which distributes the vaccine, said the private vaccination programme, which starts next month, could "back up the government to reach herd immunity".
Over 482,000 ready-to-use doses of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived on Friday.
However, its developer, Beijing Biological Products Institute, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, has said the vaccine was 79.34% effective in preventing people from developing the disease, based on interim data.