Indonesia expects halal certificate for experimental vaccine

In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Palace, workers spray disinfectant over a container containing experimental coronavirus vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinovac, upon arrival at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia, late Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

Indonesia’s highest Muslim clerical body is expected to issue a halal certification for the experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by China-based Sinovac Biotech, officials said Monday.

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

“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,” Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said at a news conference.

Over 1 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.

“The government will provide a vaccine that is proven safe and passes clinical trials under World Health Organization recommendations,” Minister of Health of Indonesia Putranto said.

UNICEF Indonesia’s first National Ambassador Saputra said that if the experimental vaccine passes the third-phase clinical trials, immunization programs 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.

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 Southeast Asia.

Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:01:56 AM |

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