JAKARTA: Indonesia has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, said the country’s food and drug agency (BPOM) on Tuesday (Mar 9), after receiving more than 1 million doses of the vaccine a day before.
The vaccine will be given to people 18 years old and above, BPOM chief Penny K Lukito said in a news conference.
About 1.1 million doses of the vaccine arrived late on Monday via the COVAX global vaccine-alliance scheme.
Indonesia will get about 11.7 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine through COVAX, which will come in batches till May, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Monday.
“Besides efforts to secure domestic supplies, Indonesia’s support for the principle of equal access to vaccines for all needs to continue,” she said in an online news briefing from the Jakarta airport, after the plane that carried the vaccine landed.
Commentary: Indonesia’s vaccination policies seem to favour the young and rich
Bambang Heriyanto, corporate secretary of state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma, on Monday said that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be stored in their facilities.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin warned earlier on Monday that people should not get their hopes too high for a speedy vaccination due to limited supply.
About 38 million doses of a vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech have arrived in the Southeast Asian country of about 270 million people, some of which have been used in a mass inoculation drive starting in January.
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