The country recorded more than 758,000 virus cases on January 2, with 22,555 deaths recorded, although most epidemiologists in the country believe both cases and deaths to be underestimated. The positivity rate is reaching 30 per cent, much higher than World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 5 per cent, indicating that testing hasn’t been widespread.
Indonesia has signed multiple deals with companies including AstraZeneca and Novavax, while also developing its own Merah Putih vaccines to ensure the country has enough shots.
Russia’s high-speed rollout
More than 800,000 people in Russia have been inoculated so far against coronavirus and more than 1.5 million vaccine doses have been dispatched, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Sunday AEDT.
Russia, which began rolling out its Sputnik V vaccine in early December, has the world’s fourth higher number of COVID-19 cases and is putting high hopes on several vaccines it plans to produce.
From January 1, people who are inoculated in Russia will get an electronic vaccination certificate, the TASS news agency quoted Murashko as saying. The ministry is keeping a database of Russians who have been vaccinated.
The Sputnik V vaccine, which Russia already started supplying to other countries, is administered in two doses, which use different components, 21 days apart.
Russia sent 300,000 doses of the vaccine to Argentina last week, causing frustration at home, with some people arguing that more shots should be made available to Russians.
On Saturday, local time Russia reported 26,301 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total caseload to 3,212,637.
Authorities said 447 people had died in the past 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 58,002.
Vatican’s immaculate inoculation plans
Vatican City, the world’s smallest sovereign state, expects to receive enough COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming days to inoculate all of its workers and residents, a statement said on Saturday.
The Vatican is home to about 450 people, including Pope Francis, while several hundred of its employees live in Rome, which surrounds the city state.
“It is likely that the vaccines could arrive in the state in the second week of January in sufficient quantity to cover the needs of the Holy See and the Vatican City State,” the statement said. The Holy See is the Roman Catholic Church’s governing body that operates from within Vatican territory.
The Vatican said it had bought an ultra-cold refrigerator to store the doses, suggesting it will use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which must be stored at about minus 70 degrees Celsius.
Vaccinations will start in the second half of January, with priority given to health and public safety personnel, the elderly and staff in frequent contact with the public, the Vatican said.
Shots will be administered on a voluntary basis, it added.
Pope Francis is 84 and had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to the disease. The Vatican did not say if or when he would be vaccinated.
According to data collated by worldometers.info, 27 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Vatican City so far, and no deaths. Two Vatican cardinals tested positive last month.