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Bio Farma ready to produce 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end: Minister Erick

Rizki Fachriansyah
Rizki Fachriansyah

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, August 5, 2020  /  11:08 am
Bio Farma ready to produce 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end: Minister Erick

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir inspects phase three clinical trials for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at PT Bio Farma in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday. (Courtesy/National Economic and COVID-19 Recovery Committee)

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, who also helms the national economic and COVID-19 recovery committee, has claimed that state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma is ready to produce 250 million doses of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine per year by the end of 2020.

“I have ensured that Bio Farma is ready to produce 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine per year, and by the end of the year will be able to produce 250 million doses per year,” Erick said during an inspection of Bio Farma’s laboratories and production facilities in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday, as quoted in a statement.

He said the committee had focused on doubling the availability of vaccines and therapies as they were crucial in accelerating the national recovery process.

“Let’s maximize the clinical trials and production of the COVID-19 vaccine so the public could be immunized by next year,” Erick said, while inspecting the third phase of the clinical trials for the potential vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine is among the most promising candidate vaccines in the country.

Bio Farma president director Honesti Basyir said last month that the company had expected to distribute 40 million doses of the vaccine per year as soon as the government authorized its widespread usage.

“We plan to expand it to 250 million doses per year,” he said, after announcing that the vaccine would undergo the third phase of clinical trials in the country.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously urged the Padjadjaran University’s Medical School research team in Bandung to make the vaccine available for widespread usage within three months.

However, the team could not fulfill Jokowi’s request, as the clinical trials for the possible vaccine entailed a string of stringent protocols that would otherwise take years to complete under normal circumstances.

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