Joko Widodo
President Joko Widodo

dpa/GNA – Indonesia will start its mass vaccination drive against Covid-19 next week, the country’s health minister said Tuesday.

President Joko Widodo will be the first to receive the shot on January 13 to assure the public that the CoronaVac vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech is safe, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

“The first injection will be carried out on Wednesday, to be administered to the president,” Budi said.

Indonesia has received 3 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine.

Sinovac is also scheduled to deliver 45 million doses of vaccine in a bulk form later this month for production by Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company BioFarma, the government said.

The government announced last month that coronavirus vaccination would be given at no cost to all citizens.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country with 270 million people, has the largest Covid-19 caseload in South-East Asia.

As of Monday, the country has recorded 772,103 cases, with 22,911 deaths.

Indonesia has also signed deals to procure 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and US vaccine developer Novavax.

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