Indonesia approved China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.’s Covid-19 vaccine for use on the elderly and may start inoculations between March and April, Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said.
State-owned PT Bio Farma, which partners with Sinovac to produce the shots locally, received the approval in a letter from the food and drug agency, company spokesman Bambang Heriyanto said in a text message. Reuters reported on the approval earlier.
Indonesia started its mass inoculation drive on Jan. 13 with a Sinovac vaccine. More than 777,000 people have received their first shot and about 137,000 have had a second, official data showed. The government plans to vaccinate 181.5 million people by March 2022.
Covid-19 infections and deaths continued to rise by record numbers in the Southeast Asian country in January. Authorities confirmed 191 deaths from the virus in the 24 hours through midday Saturday, bringing the total to 31,393. More than 1.5 million Indonesians have tested positive for Covid-19 and 939,184 have recovered from the disease.