Indonesia Starts Mass COVID Vaccinations Over Vast Territory

In this photo released by Indonesian Presidential Palace, President Joko Widodo, left, receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Widodo on Wednesday received the first shot of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine after Indonesia approved it for emergency use and began efforts to vaccine millions of people in the world's fourth most populated country. Writings on the banner in the background read "Safe and Halal." (Agus Suparto/Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

(AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo has received the first shot of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine after the country approved it for emergency use.

The vaccination program in the world’s fourth most populous country is the first large-scale use outside of China of the Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccine. It poses massive challenges in a country whose thousands of islands stretch across an area about as wide as the continental United States and where transportation and infrastructure are limited in many places.

Health officials have also noted it will be difficult to keep the vaccine at the required 36–46 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain its safety and effectiveness.


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