Indonesia Approves China’s COVID-19 Vaccine, Zhifei

The Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) has approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products unit for emergency use. The vaccine is the fourth Chinese vaccine that is allowed to be used in Indonesia.

Head of BPOM Penny Lukito said the recombinant protein vaccine, which will be given in three doses with a gap of three months each, has an efficacy rate of around 81 percent, with 77.47 percent efficacy against the Delta variant, lower than other variants, he said.

Reuters reported Zifivax vaccine trials conducted in China, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Ecuador, and Indonesia, involving 28,000 people, with efficacy based on severity.

Indonesia has also approved the use of Sinovac, Sinopharm, and CanSino vaccines.

Indonesia, which recently became the epicenter of COVID-19 in Asia, has now vaccinated one-fifth of its population of around 270 million people.

Indonesia has recorded more than 4.2 million coronavirus cases with 142,000 deaths overall, but the average daily infections have fallen dramatically since the peak of its crisis in July.

Mahendra Suhardono, Head of the Jakarta Biopharmaceutical Industry in partnership with Zhifei, said that the Zifivax vaccine could be produced in Indonesia this year.

Zhifei and his unit, Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. [ah/rs]

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