Indonesia will sign deals with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and AstraZeneca, in a bid to secure more novel coronavirus vaccines to inoculate about 18 million out of its population of 269 million.
The Health Minister Budi Sadikin made the disclosure at a news conference on Monday in Jakarta.
Sadikin said that Indonesian Government would soon sign contracts with AstraZeneca for confirmed 50 million doses and an optional 50 million doses by the end of the year.
The deal with Pfizer is expected to be signed in the first week of January with the same number of confirmed and optional doses as AstraZeneca’s.
“The first phase of inoculation will be from January to April with 1.3 million health workers, the first to get the vaccines.
“This will be followed by 17.4 million frontline public workers and 21.5 million senior citizens,” Sadikin said.
The vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca are among the five channels that Indonesia has been working on to secure 426 million doses of novel coronavirus vaccines.
The other three channels are from Chinese vaccine maker, Sinovac, American vaccine development company, Novavax, and the Gavi-COVAX global vaccine alliance.
Indonesia’s most populous provinces, most of which are in Java, are facing a shortage of hospital beds and intensive care unit beds, with current occupancy exceeding 70 per cent, Sadikin said.
Indonesia on Tuesday reported 7,903 new infections, raising the national total to 727,122 cases, while 215 new deaths were recorded, bringing to 21,703 the total number of deaths. (dpa/NAN)