Pfizer jab gets greenlight for emergency use as coronavirus tears through Indonesia

Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Indonesia in an effort to boost inoculation rates in the country as coronavirus infections show no signs of abating.

Indonesia’s regulatory drug and food authority (BPOM) gave Pfizer the green light for emergency use on Thursday for all Indonesian citizens aged 12 and over. The head of the authority, Penny Lukito, announced during a press conference that the agreement to approve the Pfizer jab had been signed in order to carry the country out of the pandemic as it expands vaccination coverage by increasing the vaccines available.

A deal was signed on Wednesday between Indonesia’s Ministry of Health and the pharmaceutical giant BioNtech, which will see the country receive 50 million doses. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin welcomed the news in a statement. “I would like to express my gratitude for the partnership that will help Indonesia to meet the need for Covid-19 vaccines. With the additional 50 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, we hope we can speed up the vaccination drive in Indonesia,” he said.

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Pfizer is the second mRNA vaccine to be approved in the Southeast Asian country, with Moderna being cleared for use on July 1. Other vaccines authorized for emergency use in Indonesia are Oxford’s AstraZeneca and the Chinese-produced BBIP from Sinopharm, as well as Sinovac.

Indonesia is grappling with a steep increase in Covid cases that is overwhelming the country and its healthcare system. Earlier in July, 63 patients lost their lives as a result of crucial oxygen supplies in a hospital in Yogyakarta running out.

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On Wednesday, the country recorded more than 54,500 cases in a day, with the situation being described as ‘worst-case scenario’ by a senior minister. Indonesia has even overtaken India in terms of the number of daily cases.

Indonesia – the world’s fourth most populous country – has only managed to vaccinate 5.5% of its population fully, with only 13.4% of the country’s 275 million people having received just one dose.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Southeast Asian country has recorded over 2.67 million cases and almost 70,000 deaths, making Indonesia the worst hit nation in the region.

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Source:RT World News

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