Indonesia to begin receiving shipments of Novavax vaccine in July

Photo: Novavax
Photo: Novavax

Indonesia is expected to receive 50 million doses of a vaccine developed by American biotechnology company Novavax, state pharmaceutical company Bio Farma said, with the first shipments slated to arrive in July.

Novavax announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was found to have an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent in a Phase 3 trial conducted in the US and Mexico. The trial also found that the vaccine was 100 percent effective against moderate to severe cases. Only mild side effects, such as nausea, headache, and muscle pain, were observed.

With the US well covered with vaccines by other manufacturers, Novavax has pledged 1.1 billion doses of its vaccine to the WHO-backed COVAX initiative, which aims to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, including Indonesia. 

That will come in the form of 50 million doses of the vaccine for Indonesia, which will be gradually shipped to the country between July and September.

“There will be 2.5 million to 4 million doses [with every shipment],” Bio Farma’s COVID-19 vaccination spokesman Bambang Heriyanto said today.

Novavax’s vaccine will still require emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM) before it can be rolled out for Indonesia’s mass vaccination program.

Indonesia is also hoping to secure a supply of another American vaccine, Pfizer, beginning in the third quarter of 2021.

The country is currently largely dependent on a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, as well as a vaccine developed by Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, the latter of which the country has received through the COVAX initiative.

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