State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir, right, visits Bio Farma's vaccine production facility in Bandung, West Java on Aug. 4, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Bio Farma)

Indonesia Gears Up for Covid-19 Vaccine Production


AUGUST 04, 2020

Jakarta. State-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma is making final preparations to produce at scale the coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with its Chinese counterpart Sinovac Biotech.

The production will not start until the completion of phase 3 clinical trial scheduled in Bandung, West Java, later this month. 

"I can confirm today that Bio Farma is fully ready to produce 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine a year and can be expanded to 250 million doses later on,” State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said during a visit in the company’s vaccine production facility in Bandung, West Java on Tuesday.

Erick said Bio Farma has been in the vaccine industry since 1890 and is currently supplying 15 types of vaccine in 150 countries. Bio Farma’s polio vaccine controls a 75 percent share of the global market, he added.

"So let’s put trust on our own people. Don’t be skeptical about Bio Farma’s proven ability in producing vaccine, either by its own or in collaboration with other countries,” Erick said.

“We will carry out a clinical trial and maximize production so that public vaccination can start early next year,” he said.

While awaiting the vaccine, Erick said all Indonesian people must strictly follow the health protocols to stop the surge in cases.

Indonesia has recorded more than 115,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 5,388 deaths, as of Tuesday.

“Never forget to wear a mask, wash hand and maintain physical distancing at work places or during exercises. If we all follow this medical advice, we will get through this pandemic safely and our economy will recover," Erick said.

Bio Farma said earlier the clinical trial will involve 1,620 volunteers between 18 and 59 years old until January.

At the initial stage, the company will produce 40 million doses of the vaccine before being expanded to 100 million, Bio Farma President Director Honesti Basyir said in the company’s website.

He said Sinovac was appointed a partner because both companies shared similar vaccine production platform.