The Jakarta Post
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Monday that Indonesia had submitted a vaccine request form to COVAX Facility, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan that aims to help buy and fairly distribute vaccines.
Retno said during a Monday press briefing that aside from bilateral efforts to secure vaccines, her ministry along with the Health Ministry and Finance Ministry “were in contact with Geneva” for multilateral vaccine procurement.
Indonesia agreed in September to participate in the COVAX Facility, co-led by the World Health Organization, GAVI vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The initiative aims to fairly distribute 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
The country is among 92 nations listed in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative financing instrument that will support the participation of 92 low- and middle-income economies in the COVAX Facility. Retno said this would allow Indonesia to receive vaccines from the facility for 3 to 20 percent of the country's population.
"There are several administrative processes and technical preparation that must be done, especially by the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry. One of them is to submit a vaccine request form to the COVAX Facility. The submission has been done today on Dec. 7, on the imposed deadline," she said.
With more steps to be carried out before the end of 2020, Retno said she expressed hope that vaccines secured through this multilateral initiative could arrive in stages in Indonesia next year.
According to GAVI's official website, funding for the GAVI COVAX AMC is fully separated from that of the COVAX Facility, meaning that the AMC does not involve cross-subsidies by self-financing participants.
The funds will mainly come from the Official Development Assistance (ODA), as well as contributions from the private sector and philanthropic endeavors. Thus far, the AMC has raised about US$700 million of the initial seed capital target of $2 billion needed by the end of 2020.
As for bilateral efforts, Retno said the ministry was in close contact with Chinese authorities for Chinese procurement. Indonesia received in the late hours of Sunday 1.2 million doses of candidate vaccine CoronaVac from Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
Indonesia will not roll out vaccination until the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) issues emergency use authorization (EUA) for the inactivated vaccines. The agency previously said it was still waiting for interim results from the ongoing last stage, or phase three, of clinical trials of the candidate vaccines being developed by state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma alongside a Padjadjaran University trial team. The firm said it aimed to submit the interim results to the agency in January for EUA review.
Indonesia has set aside Rp 35.1 trillion ($2.48 billion) for COVID-19 vaccine procurement and vaccination, Rp 637.3 billion of which had been spent to procure 3 million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine and 100,000 doses of a vaccine produced by Chinese firm CanSino Biologics. (ars)
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.