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Jakarta Post

Indonesia needs at least 340 million COVID-19 vaccine ampoules, minister says

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 10, 2020   /   05:44 pm
Indonesia needs at least 340 million COVID-19 vaccine ampoules, minister says An illustration shows bottles labeled "Vaccine COVID-19". Several initiatives are underway in the world to develop an effective, tested vaccine for the disease, including a government-funded Indonesian initiative led by the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

Indonesia needs to secure a minimum of 340 million ampoules of COVID-19 vaccines to accommodate at least 170 million people – nearly two-thirds of the country's total population – in the archipelago, a minister has said.

“We need at least two vaccine shots per person for some 170 million people. So we need at least 340 million [ampoules] of vaccines,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto said on Tuesday.

He said there was a relaxation on intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed globally, meaning that any country that successfully comes out with a proven vaccine would be able to share their findings with others.

“Whichever country discovers it first can share it with other countries so that they can begin co-production,” Airlangga said as quoted by kompas.com.

As for Indonesia, he said a number of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) had cooperated with several companies in South Korea to develop COVID-19 vaccines.

Citing President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's order, the minister said the country prioritized cooperation in vaccine development with less-populated countries since those with populations bigger than Indonesia would need to prioritize their own citizens first.

Read also: Indonesia rallies to keep COVID-19 vaccines, drugs affordable

The 2015 Intercensal Survey (SUPAS) projected Indonesia's population in 2019 to reach up to 266.9 million people.

Countries with a smaller population, such as South Korea, France and Denmark, were therefore considered ideal partners for vaccine co-production, he said.

Separately, Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, who is also the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) head, said that COVID-19 vaccine development in Indonesia was spearheaded by a consortium involving a number of institutions, including state-owned pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma. 

Bio Farma previously said it was hoping to start a pre-clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine by 2021.

“We hope we can acquire our vaccines in a relatively short time, which means we wouldn’t get behind other countries. We will develop an effective vaccine for the virus in Indonesia,” Bambang said. 

Bambang said Indonesia needed at least 250 million to 350 million ampoules to get at least two-thirds of the Indonesian population vaccinated. (dpk)