Indonesia signs up with Sinovac for Covid-19 vaccine

JAKARTA • Indonesia signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd for 50 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine concentrate that will allow state-owned PT Bio Farma to produce doses locally.

Sinovac will ship the concentrate in five equal stages between November and March, vaccine maker Bio Farma said in a statement on Saturday. Beijing-based Sinovac also granted priority access for bulk supply to Indonesia until the end of 2021.

The government is also seeking a possible partnership with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, said on her Twitter account last Friday.

More than 150,000 Indonesians have tested positive for Covid-19, and fatalities have exceeded 6,500, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Two of the country’s state-owned pharmaceutical companies have arranged deals with Group 42 Holding Ltd, artificial intelligence and cloud computing company based in the United Arab Emirates, Marsudi told reporters in a briefing after meeting several ministers in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

PT Kimia Farma has arranged a vaccine development deal with the company that includes a commitment for 10 million doses this year, she said. PT Indofarma’s partnership with the company covers research, development, production and distribution related to Covid-19 screening. That deal can speed up tracing and support economic activity, she added.

Bio Farma will increase its manufacturing capacity to 250 million doses by the end of the year from about 100 million now, the company said. The Covid-19 vaccine concentrate will require a series of tests and should be registered with the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency before mass production. — Bloomberg