A nurse holds a syringe containing a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine made by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), at a vaccination center during a visit, in Beijing, April 15, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s food and drug authority BPOM has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, an official source said on Friday.

Chief of BPOM Penny Lukito made the announcement, saying the issuance of the EUA was based on the third phase of clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

Indonesia would use the Sinopharm vaccine for a mutual vaccination scheme locally known as “Gotong Royong”, where companies or legal entities can arrange the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for their employees for free, to help the country achieve herd immunity faster.

Previously, Indonesia had approved the emergency use for three other brands of COVID-19 vaccines, namely the CoronaVac produced by the Chinese company Sinovac, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the state-company PT Bio Farma in collaboration with Sinovac, and the AstraZeneca vaccine.