"I hope, especially in vaccine products, I ask for it (vaccine production) to be faster, because the situation really needs it. So, the only effort to overcome this COVID-19 is from (producers of) vaccines," Vice President Ma'ruf Amin said during a teleconference with the directors of PT Bio Farma in Jakarta on Thursday.
The level of transmission of COVID-19 is still quite high in Indonesia because there are still many people who are not disciplined in implementing health protocols, Ma'ruf remarked.
In addition, he noted, other efforts currently implemented by the government have not significantly reduced the spread of COVID-19 infections.
“(The steps taken by the government to curb coronavirus infections) Through health protocol efforts, through other countermeasures are still ineffective. The healing has started well, but transmission is still quite high," he pointed out.
Therefore, Vice President Ma'ruf directly asked the president director of PT Bio Farma, Honesti Basyir, to speed up the production process, including the halal certification process for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Honesti said he would coordinate with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) without delay regarding the halal certification for the vaccine.
"We will follow all of the Vice President's directions. Whatever the progress, we will immediately coordinate with the MUI team," Honesti said during the teleconference.
PT Bio Farma is working with China-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac and United Arab Emirates-based company G42 to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
Sinovac will provide raw materials to Indonesia for the production of 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 and for 250 million doses by 2021. The vaccine which is being developed with raw materials procured from China is currently undergoing the third phase of clinical trials in Bandung, West Java.
Meanwhile, G42 will provide raw materials for 10 million doses by December, 2020 and for 50 million doses in the first quarter of 2021. (INE)
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