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Jakarta Post

Don’t count on a vaccine

  • Editorial board


Jakarta   /   Fri, October 2 2020   /  01:00 am
State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir during an inspection of phase three clinical trials for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at PT Bio Farma in Bandung, West Java on Aug. 4.(Courtesy/National Economic and COVID-19 Recovery Committee)

Indonesia clearly is betting on a vaccine as a quick fix to the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo asked his ministers Monday to prepare a detailed road map on the national COVID-19 vaccination program within two weeks, although it remains uncertain whether an effective and safe vaccine will be available anytime soon. On Wednesday Jokowi reiterated his guarded optimism that between 170 and 180 million doses of vaccine would be available by the end of the year and mass vaccination could begin. The government will allocate about Rp 22 trillion (US$1.5 billion) for the vaccination program. Indonesia has gone as far as China and the United Arab Emirates to secure a deal to import millions of doses of vaccine, while forging a cooperation with giant pharma companies from China and South Korea to produce COVID-19 vaccine at home. State pharmaceutica...