A volunteer undergoes coronavirus jab drill at Padjadjaran University’s Faculty of Medicine in Bandung, West Java on August 6, 2020. Health authorities are recruiting more than 1,600 volunteers to join the phase 3 clinical trial of a vaccine against Covid-19 that will run until January. (Antara Photo/M. Agung Rajasa)

President Jokowi Says Vaccination against Covid-19 Can Start in January

BY :PRIMUS DORIMULU

SEPTEMBER 01, 2020

Bogor. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo gave a new timeline for the planned mass vaccination against coronavirus, saying on Monday millions of Indonesian citizens can receive the vaccine in January.

A previous government estimate mentioned February as the earliest possible time for mass vaccination against the virus.

Speaking to leaders of national media companies at the Bogor Palace in West Java, the president revealed that the country has received commitment from China and the United Arab Emirates on the short-term supply of up to 30 million doses of the vaccine starting in November.

“A total of 170 million Indonesian people will be vaccinated, each will receive two doses, bringing our total need to 340 million doses,” President Jokowi said.

The Chinese vaccine is developed by Sinovac Biotech, which has entered a joint production agreement with Indonesia’s state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma. The Sinovac vaccine is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trial in the West Java capital of Bandung, involving more than 1,600 volunteers.

UAE’s G42 Health Care Industry is also developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with China’s Sinopharm.

The government will import raw materials from China and the UAE for domestic vaccine production by Bio Farma with a targeted output of 290 million doses, the president said. 

“It must be in full compliance to all standards, including three stages of clinical trials. The BPOM (Drug and Food Control Agency) has been involved since the initial stage so there will be no issues regarding medical standards,” the president said.

It will take around a year to complete the nationwide vaccination, which will be funded by the government, he added.

Mass vaccination will be conducted for free at public health centers and hospitals across the country. However, those who want to get the vaccine earlier than the schedule will be required to pay, Jokowi said.

Apart from the imported vaccine, Indonesia is also developing its owned vaccine called Merah Putih (red and white), named after the colors of the Indonesian flag.

The project involved several agencies including the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, the Research and Technology Ministry, the Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT) and the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI).
 

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