Of course, we are going to increase the funds as needed
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Research and Technology Ministry allocated early-stage funding of Rp5 billion to facilitate the commencement of Indonesia's research activities for manufacturing and developing its own COVID-19 vaccine.

"Of course, we are going to increase the funds as needed," Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro noted in a statement circulated on YouTube that ANTARA quoted in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The minister pointed to clinical tests and production being the most crucial aspects of research activities for COVID-19 vaccine manufacture and development.

"Hence, the biggest chunks of the funding will be disbursed when research efforts have entered the stages of production and distribution," Brodjonegoro remarked.

The ministry will finance COVID-19 vaccine-related research activities until Indonesian scientists succeed in making the vaccine prototype, while the Ministry of Health will finance its clinical test stage, he revealed.

Speaking in connection with issues related to the COVID-19 vaccine development, former vice president and chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), Jusuf Kalla, stressed that Indonesia should make a real contribution to global scientific efforts to develop an effective COVID-19 treatment.

"Indonesia must contribute to the world of science (in devising ways) for handling the new coronavirus disease," Kalla noted in a press statement on May 13 following a meeting with Head of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology Amin Subandrio.

The PMI has worked with the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology to support it by offering access to its blood processing facilities in 15 big cities in the country.

"The PMI is in a position to (provide) backup, but the support is not in the scientific area, which is Eijkman's responsibility," the former Indonesian vice president remarked while adding that Eijkman is welcome to utilize PMI's blood processing facilities.

In early May, the Indonesian Red Cross for Jakarta region (PMI Jakarta) voiced its willingness to collect the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients to conduct a trial for COVID-19 treatment using convalescent blood plasma in Indonesia, as proposed by the Eijkman Institute.
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Translator: Martha HS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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