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Indonesia rolls out Covid-19 vaccinations, president gets first dose

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PHOTO: President Joko Widodo via Facebook

Indonesia is rolling out its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign with President Joko Widodo as the first in the country to get jabbed with China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine.

Indonesia approved the vaccine for emergency use earlier this week. It’s the first large-scale use of the Sinovac vaccine outside of China. Thailand has also made an agreement to purchase the 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac BioTech shots. The first batch of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive in Thailand next month.

The Thai company Siam Bioscience is producing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19  vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University. That vaccine is set to be available to the Thai public in May.

After Indonesia’s president was vaccinated, top military, police and medical officials in the country were injected with the vaccine. The secretary of the Indonesian Ulema Council were also vaccinated. The council recently agreed that the vaccine is halal, permissible for Muslims.

Mass vaccination in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country with 181.5 million people, will be rolled out over the next few months. Vaccines will be free for all Indonesian citizens. Health care workers, civil servants and those at risk of infection are first priority.

To vaccinate two-thirds of the population with the 2-shot vaccine, the country’s health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin says around 427 million doses are needed.

“This vaccine is given to achieve herd immunity. All 70% of the world’s people must be vaccinated for that to be achieved. The participation of all Indonesians will greatly determine the success of this program.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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