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Indonesia expects halal certificate for experimental Covid-19 vaccine

The certification would be a significant step in immunisation efforts in the world’s most populous Muslim country, should the vaccine be approved.

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Workers spray disinfectant over a container containing experimental coronavirus vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinovac (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Workers spray disinfectant over a container containing experimental coronavirus vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinovac (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Workers spray disinfectant over a container containing experimental coronavirus vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinovac (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Indonesia’s highest Muslim clerical body is expected to issue a halal certification for the experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by China-based firm Sinovac Biotech.

The certification would be a significant step in immunisation efforts in the world’s most populous Muslim country, should the vaccine be approved for use.

Indonesia’s human development and culture minister Muhadjir Effendy: “A study by the Indonesian Ulema Council Halal Product Guarantee Agency and Institute for the Assessment of Food, Drugs and Cosmetics has been completed and has been submitted to the council for the making of a fatwa and halal certification.”

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A container containing the vaccines is unloaded at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

A container containing the vaccines is unloaded at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

AP/PA Images

A container containing the vaccines is unloaded at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Over one million doses of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac arrived in Indonesia on Sunday evening. The government has no exact schedule for distributing the doses.

Health minister Terawan Agus Putranto said the experimental vaccine needs to successfully complete phase three clinical trials before it can be distributed in Indonesia.

Mr Putranto said: “The government will provide a vaccine that is proven safe and passes clinical trials under World Health Organisation recommendations.”

Hermawan Saputra of the Indonesian Public Health Expert Association said the 1.2 million doses are only enough for an initial group of 600,000 people, since each person must receive two doses.

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Indonesia’s government said more than a million doses have arrived in the country (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Indonesia’s government said more than a million doses have arrived in the country (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

AP/PA Images

Indonesia’s government said more than a million doses have arrived in the country (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

“It does not really have significant meaning. The government should guarantee that there will be enough to for distribution to the entire country,” Mr Saputra said.

He added that if the experimental vaccine passes the third phase clinical trials, immunisation programmes are expected to begin in the middle of next year.

The government has announced that it plans to use vaccines from several different producers in its effort to vaccinate the world’s fourth most populated country. So far, the Sinovac candidate vaccine is the only one to arrive in the country.

On Monday, the Health Ministry announced 5,754 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the confirmed total to 581,550, including 17,867 deaths, the highest in south-east Asia.

Online Editors


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