Indonesia received 5.7 million Pfizer-manufactured Covid-19 vaccines in three shipments from December 11-13 director-general for information and public communication Usman Kansong said.

The vaccines are to be distributed across the archipelago to boost regional vaccination levels, in accordance with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s orders.

“The vaccines from batches 126, 127 and 128 have landed in various cities of Indonesia and will be directly distributed to regional health agencies. We expect to use every single dose of the vaccine effectively, for the sake of community health protection,” Usman said.

Batches 126 and 127 made up part of the US government’s donation through Covax. The more than 2.6 million doses of Pfizer vaccines in Batch 126 arrived on December 11. Batch 127 contained more than 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“The government praises the US government’s support in the form of 3.5 million Pfizer vaccines, which represents the harmonious relationship between the two countries,” Usman said.

He added that during a recent meeting . . . Jokowi had thanked US President Joe Biden for his cooperation in the health sector during the pandemic, which included sending vaccines through a dose-sharing scheme, ventilators, therapeutic medicines and other health equipment.

Batch 128 of the Pfizer vaccine, amounting to more than 2.2 million doses, was obtained through direct purchases and arrived on December 12 at four airports – Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta International Airport), Semarang (Ahmad Yani International Airport), Surabaya (Juanda International Airport) and Balikpapan (Sepinggan International Airport).

Batch 128, which arrived in Jakarta, was to be directly distributed to health agencies in West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Riau, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Banten and West Java. The vaccines that arrived in the other three cities were to be distributed to the local health agencies in those three provinces.

With the arrival of the three batches, the country has received 355.7 million vaccine doses, both in bulk and ready-to-use forms. The government has been accelerating the vaccination scheme. More than 267 million vaccine doses were distributed from January to October of this year.

Besides ensuring the availability of vaccines, the vaccination programme has been accelerated through greater public education about vaccinations, especially directed at those who remain hesitant.

“We have confirmed that all Covid-19 vaccines have been guaranteed for their safety and efficacy, and have also obtained the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency [BPOM] licence,” Usman said. Citing the president, he added that a small increase in cases had been seen recently in Indonesia.

“We need to stay alert and maintain our health protocol discipline. The current relaxation of public activity restrictions should not be seen as the end of the pandemic. Please be wise whenever choosing to travel and maintain health protocol discipline,” he said.