Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, left, and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir visit the United Arab Emirates on August 22, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Indonesia Says China, UAE Agree to Supply Up to 370 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine

BY :LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN

AUGUST 24, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian government has secured the supply of up to 340 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China and the United Arab Emirates for next year, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Monday.

For immediate needs this year, Indonesia is also granted the supply of up to 30 million doses.

The commitment from both countries was made during recent visits by Retno and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, who is also the executive chairman of the National Committee on Covid-19 Mitigation and National Economic Recovery.

"We both reported to the president about the results of our recent visits to China and the UAE this morning. From our view, the visits are very fruitful and even above earlier expectations,” Retno said after a cabinet meeting led by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace in Central Jakarta.

“After the visits from the two countries, we can confirm that we have secured their commitment to supply between 20 million and 30 million doses of vaccine for this year," Retno said.

“As for 2021, the supply commitment is put at 290 million to 340 million doses of vaccine.”

Retno said the government is taking both short-term and long-term approaches to ensure adequate supply of the Covid-19 vaccine for its more than 260 million people.

While the home-developed vaccine won’t be ready before the second quarter of next year, Indonesia needs to acquire vaccine from other countries. 

“The focus is now on our short-term goals,” she said.

Indonesia is currently conducting clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. The trial takes place in the West Java capital of Bandung, involving more than 1,600 volunteers.

State-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma announced earlier it would produce 100 million doses of the Chinese vaccine at the initial stage, once the clinical trial is concluded successfully.

A separate inter-agency team has been working on a local vaccine called Merah Putih (red and white) using the strain of coronavirus commonly found in the country.

The government targets to start mass vaccination by February next year at the latest.

Indonesia is among the worst-affected countries in Asia with more than 153,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including around 6,600 deaths.

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