Jakarta, Feb 8 (efe-epa).- Indonesia on Monday began administering a China-made coronavirus vaccine to people aged 59 and above after approving its use for the elderly a day earlier.
The first doses of CoronaVac, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Sinovac, were given to elderly health workers in several hospitals across the country.
The country had earlier decided that it would first immunize the working population – people aged between 18 and 59.
In the middle of January when the country began its massive vaccination campaign, Indonesian authorities had said that those over the age of 59 years would not be vaccinated with CoronaVac until the results of clinical trials of the vaccine among this age group being carried out in Brazil and China were obtained.
Indonesia began a complex vaccination campaign against Covid-19 on Jan.13 by inoculating President Joko Widodo, who received the first dose of CoronaVac.
During the first phase of the campaign between January and April, in the world’s fourth most populated country with 265 million inhabitants, the government plans to vaccinate 17.4 million public workers between 18 and 59 years old with the Chinese vaccine.
In addition to this, another 11,600 health workers over the age of 59 will also be vaccinated, Health Minister Budi Gunadi said a day earlier.
Food and Drug Monitoring Agency head Penny Kusumastuti Lukito said in a virtual press conference on Sunday that the results of phase 3 trials being conducted in Brazil with around 600 people aged between 59 and 70 years showed that those vaccinated suffered from mild side effects, such as headache.
Indonesia, the South-East Asian country worst-hit by Covid-19, is seeing a progressive decline after a strong resurgence in the number of daily Covid-19 cases.
The country has recorded more than 1.16 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, including around 31,556 deaths. EFE-EPA