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Jakarta Post

Indonesia calls on countries to uphold social responsibility regarding COVID-19 vaccines

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 12, 2020   /   12:12 pm
Indonesia calls on countries to uphold social responsibility regarding COVID-19 vaccines A researcher works in the laboratory of the Amsterdam UMC, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on May 28, 2020. A team from the Amsterdam UMC is developing a COVID-19 vaccine. (AFP/Koen Van WEEL / ANP)

The Indonesian government has asserted the importance of international collaboration in COVID-19 vaccine development in order to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine to every corner of the globe.

Speaking to journalists during a virtual press briefing on Thursday, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said she had conveyed such hope during a virtual meeting on Tuesday with the International Coordination Group (ICG), a grouping of countries aimed at resolving certain challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Retno said she had underlined her hope that countries would not fulfill domestic needs at the expense of other countries once the COVID-19 vaccine was found.

She emphasized the importance of a “fair, transparent and inclusive mechanism to allocate [medical] supplies, particularly to the most vulnerable groups.”

Read also: Indonesia joins multilateral pursuit of 'practical', coordinated response to COVID-19

She added countries should also ensure the transfer of knowledge from vaccine producers to other countries in order to allow production to be scaled up .

“To achieve this, [apart from] flexibility of intellectual property rules, patent rights policy must also consider social responsibility, especially during the pandemic,” said Retno.

The foreign minister also encouraged more international cooperation on vaccine development and synergy between national and international efforts.

Indonesia has established a national consortium that focuses on developing a COVID-19 vaccine comprising several ministries and the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, which is currently doing genome sequencing and preparing seed to produce a vaccine.

Retno went on to say that the country was also exploring potential collaboration in procuring a vaccine and joint production of different types of vaccine with all international stakeholders, including the ICG state members.

The ICG is comprised primarily of G20 countries -- including China, India, Japan Russia and the United States – and non-G20 countries such as Singapore and Peru. (aly)