Indonesia Receives 1.2 Million COVID-19 Vaccines from China’s Sinovac
As the pandemic worsened, major players in the vaccine race have begun to shift focus on the logistics side of mass vaccination while hitting the gas on clinical trials and regulatory approvals. On the other hand, governments worldwide are managing to outsource vaccines and also encourage the process of local vaccine development.
On December 7th, Indonesia received 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech (Sinovac), with another 1.8 million doses expected to arrive in the first month of 2021, according to the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo.
Vaccine Challenges in Indonesia
As of December 7th, Indonesia is reported to have 569,707 cases and 17,589 deaths of COVID-19, making it one of the most infected southeast Asia countries. Without a doubt, Indonesia has a burning need for vaccines, but as the largest archipelagic state in the world and located in a tropical area, its geographic situation might cause more challenges with respect to vaccine transport, storage, cost, and time.
Based on the released data from China, CoronaVac can be stored at 2°C to 8°C for up to 3 years. In the Phase 1/2 clinical trials, CoronaVac expressed over 90% of seroconversion rates in patients of 18 to 59-year-old and above 60-year-old with no serious vaccine-related adverse events.
Priority for Frontline Health Workers
Indonesia plans to prioritize the health workers, police, military, and public servants for vaccination, which requires around 3 million doses. The next in line are18 to 59-year-old civilians with no comorbidities, which needs about 246 million doses.
CoronaVac is still under review for EUA from Indonesia’s food and drug agency (BPOM) which will analyze the interim results of Phase 3 clinical trial data of CoronaVac conducted in Indonesia enrolling 1,620 patients. Penny Lukito, the Head of the Food and Drug Control Agency said CoronaVac is estimated to obtain EUA in the third week of January.
CoronaVac Manufactured by State Pharmaceutical Firm
Besides the 3 million vaccines, Indonesia will secure raw materials to produce 15 million to 30 million doses of vaccines in the following 2 months. The ingredients will be passed on to the state pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma to manufacture vaccines locally, according to Joko Widodo.
500 Million to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Development
In addition, Sinovac Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Sinovac, received about 500 million from Sino Biopharmaceutical on December 7 to expand R&D, manufacturing power, and capacity of COVID-19 vaccines. In exchange for the investment, Sino Biopharmaceutical will acquire approximately 15% of the total equity interest of Sinovac Life Sciences.
By Tyler Chen
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