Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Policy Committee for COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery reminded that the Sinovac-Bio Farma COVID-19 vaccine will perhaps be ready for distribution in early 2021, thereby necessitating continued public adherence to health protocols.

"We know that vaccines could only be distributed at the start of next year. Hence, from now onwards until the start of next year, it is important to maintain discipline among the people," Executive Chairman of the Policy Committee for COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery, Erick Thohir, stated at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Thohir, concurrently the state-owned enterprises minister, highlighted the criticality of still wearing masks, maintaining requisite safe distancing, washing hands, and applying other guidelines outlined in the health protocols.

The minister opined that the time had yet to come to revert to the lifestyle lead during the pre-pandemic period, as Indonesia continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the keys to success in handling the COVID-19 pandemic is the public’s compliance with the health protocols.

"The people should also not conjecture that there is a positive atmosphere at the moment, whether be it with regard to the vaccine or the rising rate of recovery. It does not mean that we go back to leading normal daily lives as we did before," he stated.

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The minister also made assurance that pharmaceutical state-owned enterprise Bio Farma will be involved in the processes of clinical trial and production of the vaccine. The company will also produce treatment drugs for the recovery of COVID-19 patients.

"Availability of the vaccine will be ensured, but I urge the public to also remain disciplined, so we can continue to take precautionary measures. Bio Farma will also ensure to produce treatment drugs for recovery from the COVID-19 disease," he stated.

Indonesia will conduct a clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as a result of collaboration with Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. Substances for the potential vaccine arrived from China on Sunday (July 19).

Bio Farma received the substances for the potential vaccine, targeting the contagious disease that has resulted in a global pandemic. The phase III clinical trial for the vaccine will be conducted in Bandung, West Java, and is scheduled for completion in January 2021.

Bio Farma will be working in cooperation with the Ministry of Health's Research and Development Agency, Padjajaran University, and the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).

A total of 1,620 samples are planned for the phase III clinical trial.

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Translator: Indra Arief Pribadi/Aria Cindy
Editor: Sri Haryati
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