Indonesians cautiously optimistic about COVID-19 vaccines as new deals secured

Indonesia¬†is poised to secure coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the health minister said on Tuesday (December 29), as it awaits authorisation to begin its inoculation program with a third drug, by China’s Sinovac.

Budi Gunadi Sadikin said a 50-million-dose deal with AstraZeneca would be finalized before the end of the year, and one of the same size with Pfizer in the first week of January.

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are estimated to arrive in the second quarter of 2021 and those of Pfizer in third quarter of 2021.

In the capital Jakarta, people were cautiously optimistic about the news.

“I’m still not sure because as far as I know, vaccine development is a long term project and there are a lot of diseases with no cure, but suddenly there’s a cure for COVID,” said 25-year-old radio announcer Cindy Lauw.

Indonesia¬†has deals for more than 329 million doses until the end of 2021. This includes 125 million produced by China’s Sinovac, 54 million from the COVAX alliance and 50 million each from U.S. company Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, data from the country’s health ministry showed.

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