‘Going well’: Indonesia lays ambitious COVID-19 vaccine start date

‘Going well’: Indonesia lays ambitious COVID-19 vaccine start date

Indonesian trials of a China-backed coronavirus vaccine have produced “no significant side effects” so far, boosting the country’s hope of producing 250 million doses next year from as early as January.

Professor Kusnandi Rusmil, chief of the research and clinical trials for Sinovac Biotech in Indonesia, said more than a month after the phase-three trial started, it remained on track and “everything goes well”.

“As at September 29, 1089 volunteers have received their first shots and 650 volunteers have received their second shots. Our tests will be completed in early January 2021. So at the end of January 2021 we can see the effectiveness, the side effects and the immunity [produced],” he said.

The CoronaVac vaccine is being developed in partnership with Indonesian state-owned pharmaceuticals company PT Bio Farma. It is just one example of China’s so-called vaccine diplomacy, which has seen the country offer assistance, loans and free doses of the prospective immunisation to countries in south-east Asia, Europe and Latin America.