Coronavirus: Indonesia Health Workers Receive China’s Sinovac Vaccine

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    Indonesia kicked off its mass Covid-19 inoculation drive using a vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech in a key test for the shot amid questions over its efficacy. Health workers and public servants received the vaccine on Thursday, a day after President Joko Widodo got the country’s first Chinese-made Sinovac jab.

    President Joko Widodo received the vaccine in a televised ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Wednesday, becoming the first of 181.5 million people that the government seeks to inoculate by March 2022.

    Medical staff were filmed receiving their first shots at Jakarta’s state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, the country’s largest.

    Indonesia’s Food and Drug Authority approved the Sinovac shot for emergency use on Monday.

    Jokowi is the first major world leader to publicly receive a Chinese shot in a move designed to quell simmering skepticism over the vaccine. Confusing efficacy data and a lack of disclosure around safety issues could potentially cause people to refuse to take it.

    Other government figures that have livestreamed their own vaccination, such as Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong and U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden, have so far received the mRNA vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE.

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would probably get China’s CanSino Biologics Inc. vaccine in February, though this shot is further behind in testing.

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