Indonesia allows emergency use of Chinese vaccine

Indonesia has authorized the emergency use of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.

Indonesia's National Agency for Drug and Food Control said on Monday that the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 65.3 percent in tests in the country, meeting WHO requirements.

Agency officials say they have examined data from ongoing clinical tests in Indonesia, as well as data from similar tests in Brazil and Turkey.

They say large-scale inoculations are scheduled to start later this week, prioritizing healthcare workers. They say they will closely watch for any side-effects, or other problems.

President Joko Widodo is expected to be the first person to be vaccinated, to demonstrate its reported safety.

An Islamic organization in the predominantly Muslim country has given the vaccine halal certification, ensuring that it adheres to the religion's rules.

Sinovac's vaccine has yet to gain official approval in China, but 3 million doses arrived in Indonesia last month.

Indonesia has the largest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Southeast Asia.