Indonesia begins to roll out Chinese vaccine

Indonesia has begun to roll out a coronavirus vaccine developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech.

Indonesia has reported the highest numbers of cases and deaths from the coronavirus in Southeast Asia.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the vaccine on Wednesday, becoming the first person in the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Thursday, large-scale inoculation started across the country with priority given to healthcare workers.

At a hospital in the city of Depok near the capital Jakarta, about 50 doctors and nurses received shots.

A 39-year-old man said that he had been worried about possible side effects of the vaccine, but he decided to receive a shot when he saw the president doing so.
The man said he hopes the vaccine will help his country to overcome the pandemic.

Chinese authorities have not formally approved the use of Sinovac's vaccine, but they have been administering it on an emergency basis.

Clinical trials that Sinovac has conducted in Indonesia show the vaccine is 65.3 percent effective.

The Indonesian government approved the emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine on Monday, citing that it meets the requirements set by the World Health Organization. The government plans to vaccinate around 40 million people by April.

It has secured some 125 million doses from Sinovac and is trying to procure more from other vaccine developers.

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