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Indonesia to get Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from August

Indonesia to get Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from August

Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at The Michener Institute, in Toronto, Canada Jan 4, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)

JAKARTA: Indonesia will receive 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine jointly made by Pfizer and BioNTech, with the first batch expected in August, a senior health ministry official said on Saturday (Jun 19).

"Pfizer vaccines will start arriving from August, with shipments of between 7.5 million to 12 million doses per month,” said Siti Nadia Tarmizi, adding that the supply is the result of a direct government purchase.

Southeast Asia's biggest country is grappling with a fresh increase in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. It recorded its highest daily infection figure on Friday since late January, with 12,990 cases.

READ: WHO warns of fresh Indonesia COVID-19 surge fed by virus variants

The country, with a population of about 270 million people, has recorded nearly 2 million coronavirus infections since the pandemic started and 54,291 deaths, the highest in Southeast Asia.

It aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people by next year. As of Saturday, 12.2 million people have received two doses of other vaccines.

Indonesia’s president on Thursday ordered authorities to speed up the country's vaccination campaign.

“We need vaccination acceleration in order to achieve communal immunity, which we hope can stop the COVID-19 spread,” President Joko Widodo said while visiting a vaccination centre just outside the capital Jakarta.

Widodo said he ordered his Cabinet ministers and local governments to increase the number of people vaccinated each day to 1 million by next month. He said Indonesia is currently vaccinating half a million people a day.

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Source: AGENCIES/jt

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