The Indonesian government will start a COVID-19 vaccine programme in early November 2020.
The announcement was made by Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto after visiting China last weekend where the government has finalised the purchase of several vaccines.
Terawan said that detailed preparations for the vaccination programme are being made, with priority given to health workers and security forces who are at the forefront of handling COVID-19.
“In the early stages, we will give priority to vaccines to those at the forefront, namely medical personnel, public services, the Indonesian National Armed Forces, the Indonesian National Police, and all educators,” said Terawan.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme includes preparing health facilities in Indonesia, including public health centres (puskesmas), which will soon carry out simulations in several areas.
“Frontliners and people who are economically disadvantaged who are Contribution Beneficiaries Recipients (PBI) from BPJS Health will have the cost of their vaccine covered by the government,” he added.
Indonesia will use vaccines from three companies, namely Cansino, G42/Sinopharm, and Sinovac. These have entered the final phases of their clinical trial third stage and are in the process of obtaining Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in a number of countries, while already obtaining the EUA from the Chinese government in July 2020.
Cansino is conducting phase three clinical trials in China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Pakistan. G42/Sinopharm has been conducted on phase three clinical trials in China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Peru, Morocco, and Argentina. Furthermore, Sinovac is conducting the same clinical trials in China, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Chile.
The number of vaccines covered by each company varies, depending on production capacity and commitment to buyers. For this year, Cansino is undertaking 100,000 single-dose vaccines in November 2020, and around 15-20 million will be made in 2021.
Then, G42/Sinopharm will make 15 million doses of its dual-dose vaccine this year. As many as five million doses will begin to arrive in November 2020. Then in 2021, Sinopharm will seek to make 50 million more.
Meanwhile, Sinovac has committed to making three million doses of vaccine by the end of December 2020, with a commitment to deliver 1.5 million doses of vaccine (single-dose vials) in the first week of November, another 1.5 million single-dose vials doses of vaccine in the first week of December 2020, plus 15 million doses of vaccine in bulk form. Then, 125 million doses will be sent in 2021.
Regarding the halal status of the vaccine, the inspection team consisting of National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), Ministry of Health, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), and Bio Farma will go to China on 14th October 2020 to see the quality of production facilities and the halal vaccines produced by Sinovac and Cansino.
Meanwhile, the data for the G42/Sinopharm vaccine will be taken from clinical trial data in the UAE because it is produced there. “The MUI of Abu Dhabi has stated no issues with the halal status of the G42 vaccine,” said Bio Farma President Director, Honesti Basyir.