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Jakarta Post

Local vaccine efforts face old problems

Indonesian national soccer player Miftahul Hamdi (left) receives his first shot of COVID-19 vaccine during a national inoculation session held at Istora Senayan sports arena in Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta, on Friday, February 26, 2021. The Youth and Sports Ministry teamed up with the Health Ministry in hosting the vaccination for community members of high-performing sports, including 820 athletes, coaches and officials from 40 sports. (Antara/Aditya Pradana Putra)
Ardila Syakriah
Jakarta   ●   Tue, April 20 2021

Indonesian scientists developing vaccines are hoping to defend the country against the onslaught of COVID-19 but they still must deal with the same old issues that have long hampered research in the country, from overreliance on imported materials to lack of experience in downstreaming research products.

The government has long been aware that Indonesia, the world’s fourth-largest country by population, cannot solely rely on vaccine diplomacy to reach the desired inoculation coverage amid growing protectionism and limited supplies across the globe caused by restrictions during the pandemic.

Shortly after Indonesia reported its first confirmed COVID-19 cases last year, several scientists from a variety of institutions began to look into how they could develop vaccines against the coronavirus. Months later, a consortium helmed by the Research and Technology Min...

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