World

Indonesia first nation outside China to approve Sinovac vaccine

JAKARTA: Indonesia gave Sinovac Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine its first emergency use approval outside China yesterday as the world's fourth most populous country launched nationwide inoculations to stem surging infections and deaths.

Interim data from a late-stage human test of CoronaVac showed it is 65.3 per cent effective, Indonesia's food and drugs authority BPOM said - lower than figures in Brazil (78 per cent) and Turkey (91.25 per cent) which have yet to launch mass vaccinations.

"These results meet the requirements of the World Health Organisation of minimum efficacy of 50 per cent," BPOM head Penny K. Lukito told a news conference.

PRIORITY

President Joko Widodo is set to get his first dose tomorrow in a sign of the priority placed on immunisation in a country of 270 million people that has done far less than its South-east Asian neighbours to contain the virus.

Indonesia has more than 24,343 deaths from over 836,700 cases. More than a tenth of the deaths were in the last two weeks. - REUTERS

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