JAKARTA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Indonesia has approved its
first domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
for people over 18, the chief of the country's food and drugs
agency (BPOM) was quoted by news media as saying on Wednesday.
The Indovac vaccine has been developed by Indonesia's
state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma and the Texas
Childrens Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor
College of Medicine.
Penny Lukito, the head of BPOM, was cited by news portal CNN
Indonesia as saying the approval was "given as a primary vaccine
Penny and a Bio Farma spokesperson did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
Bio Farma said this month it would produce 20 million doses
of the vaccine in 2022 and 100 million doses by 2024. It has
also said it has sought a halal certificate - which would make
the vaccine permissible under Islam - from relevant authorities.
Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.
Bio Farma chief Honesti Basyir said earlier this month that
the vaccines were intended to "help reduce the nation's
dependency on imported vaccines," adding 80% of Indovac is
Indonesia, which reported one of the highest transmission
rates of COVID-19 in the world last year, has used vaccines
produced by China's Sinovac Biotech, Pfizer Inc
and BioNTech as well as Moderna Inc.
Bio Farma has said it has also sought an emergency use
approval from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Indonesia is also developing another home-grown vaccine
(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)