Minister: Collaboration between nations in vaccine development vital

Minister: Collaboration between nations in vaccine development vital

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attends a virtual meeting of the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 (MCGC) on Tuesday (June 9, 2020). (ANTARA/HO-Foreign Ministry)

We strongly encourage global collaboration — from manufacturing, research, and other (efforts) from stakeholders — to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stressed on the importance of collaborative efforts between countries for vaccine development at a recent meeting of the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 (MCGC).

 

The virtual meeting, held on Tuesday (June 9, 2020), focused on ‘The Importance of Vaccine Development to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic’, and was attended by representatives from Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, Peru, and Morocco.

 

Stressing on the need for creating a fair mechanism based on scientific studies, in the context of vaccine distribution, Foreign Minister Marsudi said once vaccines are found, special attention needs to be accorded to certain countries that do not enjoy equal access to vaccines.

 

The same applies to the considerations towards the risk of re-spreading the virus in countries which don’t have access to vaccines, she added.

 

She then underlined the need to ensure there is knowledge transfer from vaccine producers to countries to achieve a smooth increase in production capacity, including adjustments to the rules on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) as well as patent rights policies on social responsibility.

 

"Flexibility in intellectual property rules, including arrangements in TRIPs, are needed to encourage the development of affordable vaccines. The patent policy must consider social responsibility, especially in a pandemic situation, " she said in a statement received here on Wednesday.

 

She also urged greater international cooperation for vaccine development and production, as well as synergies at the national and international levels, adding that "politicization of vaccines must be avoided”.

 

Marsudi explained that Indonesia has already formed a national consortium with a multi-stakeholder partnership and a national vaccine review team as part of efforts to accelerate vaccine development.

 

In addition, Indonesia is currently exploring potential cooperation with a number of international partners on the use of DNA and inactive virus platforms. The country has also invited collaborative partnerships from other international partners to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

 

"We strongly encourage global collaboration — from manufacturing, research, and other (efforts) from stakeholders — to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines," the minister remarked.

 

The MCGC meeting is a ministerial level meeting which is held periodically as a form of international cooperation on handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is expected to strengthen inclusive cooperation, trust between countries, and the spirit of multilateralism in facing challenges amid the pandemic. (INE)

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