The Jakarta Post
State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma has confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccine will be priced at around Rp 200,000 (US$13.57) per dosage when it becomes available.
Bio Farma president director Honesti Basyir said the price was based on a recent email from Sinovac Biotech, the Chinese COVID-19 candidate vaccine producer.
The vaccine is currently in late-stage trials in Indonesia.
“Bio Farma is committed to supporting the government’s efforts to provide an affordable COVID-19 vaccine to protect Indonesians,” Honesti said in a statement on Tuesday.
He went on to say that Sinovac had denied reports that Brazil would get a similar vaccine at a much lower price of $1.96 per dosage.
“The $1.96 price per dosage price is incorrect, because the shipping cost alone is at least $2 per dosage. Sinovac is currently seeking the origins of this report,” he added.
Honesti said the decision to set the potential vaccine price was based on the amount of investment put into phase three of the clinical trials and the efficacy test.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) plans to visit Sinovac’s facilities in Beijing to ensure the development and production of the vaccine is based on good manufacturing practice (GMP).
The Indonesian Ulema Council's Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics (LPPOM MUI) also plans to evaluate the halal standard of the vaccine.
As of the second week of this month in Bandung, West Java, the third clinical phase of the trial involved 843 volunteers receiving a second injection of the vaccine, while 449 others were in a monitoring stage for the second injection.
At least 1,620 volunteers are needed for the clinical trial. Each volunteer will receive two vaccine injections within six months.
The Indonesian clinical trial team for the Sinovac vaccine said that there had not been any side effects after volunteers received the shots.
In the meantime, China stepped up its efforts in "vaccine diplomacy” over the weekend, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying that joint vaccine programs between Indonesian and China could be the focus of new ties between the two countries.
Speaking after a meeting with visiting Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Wang said Indonesia could be a vaccine production hub for Southeast Asia in the near future.
"China is willing to work with Indonesia on vaccine research, production and distribution, and support exchanges of relevant departments and medical institutes to help ensure access to affordable vaccines across the region and around the world," Wang said.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said COVID-19 vaccines being developed in China might be ready for use by the general public as early as November.
China has four potential COVID-19 vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials. At least three of those have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use program launched in July. (adi/ami)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.