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|Indonesia's Ministry of Health will carry out the distribution in parallel with testing the vaccines made by China's Sinovac (Photo: AFP)|
Jakarta – Indonesia on January 3 started nationwide distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine that was developed by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech and mass inoculations are scheduled to begin later this month.
Indonesian state vaccine producer Bio Farma received 1.2 million doses of the vaccine on December 6 and 1.8 million doses on December 31.
During a press briefing, the company’s COVID-19 vaccination spokesman Bambang Heriyanto said that all vaccine cold chain facilities at between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius are ready, voicing a hope that it will help ensure the quality of the vaccines.
Bambang added that Indonesia has carried out a number of national vaccination programmes in the past so infrastructure would not be an issue.
Indonesia plans to inoculate 181.5 million people aged 18 and above, or around 67 percent of its nearly 270 million people, within 15 months.
The shots will first be given to its 1.3 million health workers. Another 17.4 million front-line workers will get vaccinated after and then 21.5 million people aged 60 and older will get the jab between January and April.
In the second phase, scheduled to run from April this year to March 2022, 63.9 million people in high-risk areas will get vaccinated, followed by the remaining 77.4 million of the targeted population.
Indonesia has so far secured nearly 330 million doses from five different suppliers, including Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Novavax.
The world’s fourth most populous nation has reported 758,473 COVID-19 infections and 22,555 deaths as of January 3.