By Mohd Shukri Ishak
JAKARTA, Jan 11 -- The Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (BPOM) today approved the use of the vaccine, Sinovac from China, and the vaccination process for COVID-19 in the republic will begin this Wednesday.
BPOM chief, Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, in a statement, said the vaccine for COVID-19 was certified safe after undergoing the third phase of tests in Indonesia, and complied with the conditions set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
On Jan 5, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his cabinet ministers would undergo the COVID-19 vaccination on Jan 13 (Wednesday), to boost the people's confidence in the vaccine.
The vaccination which will then be extended to the other provinces the next day simultaneously, prioritises health workers, local leaders and, subsequently, the people.
On Dec 6, 2020, Indonesia received 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from China, while another 1.8 million doses were received on Dec 31.
The Indonesian government had also signed an agreement to buy another 426 million doses of vaccine from Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Novavax.
Meanwhile, according to data posted on the Indonesian government's official website regarding COVID-19, covid19.go.id. today, there were 8,693 new positive cases in the republic, bringing the total number to 836,718.
Between noon yesterday and noon today, 214 more deaths occurred, bringing the total death toll from the virus to 24,343.
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