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Jakarta Post

Bumpy road for local vaccine development

A health worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Central Jakarta on Jan. 14, a day after Indonesia began its mass vaccination program, with health workers given top priority. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
Ardila Syakriah
Jakarta   ●   Fri, April 16 2021

Indonesia's bid to develop its own coronavirus vaccines either is marred with questionable trials backed by politicians or government plans to dissolve the research ministry that has helmed the country's vaccine consortium.

As part of its long-term strategy for self-sufficiency, the Research and Technology Ministry formed a vaccine consortium involving six institutions to develop the so-called Merah Putih vaccine, named after the country's flag colors. All of them are still conducting laboratory tests.

Separately, former health minister Terawan Agus Putranto initiated the development of another candidate vaccine last year after he issued a ministerial decree to appoint the Health Ministry as a sponsor, shortly before he was replaced as health minister. Other sponsors are American biotechnology firm AIVITA Biom...

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