Speaking at a webinar in Jakarta on Tuesday, Basri argued that vaccinating 25 million Indonesians against COVID-19, for instance, will take one year to complete because that would involve 68 thousand individuals getting vaccinated across the country per day.
“I have read that there will be some 170 million (to) up to 180 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and 25 million of which, according to Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, will be available,” he said.
Based on this figure, 68 thousand doses of the vaccine would have to be administered to the targeted citizens every day, he noted.
“The question is: Do we have the resources for injecting 68,000 people per day? There will be no Idul Fitri and Christmas holidays along the year. It means that we need sufficient resources,” Basri argued.
Even if there is a possibility that Indonesia would be able to do so, it would still need a whole year to get the doses of COVID-19 vaccine distributed, he remarked.
A longer distribution process would affect Indonesia's economic recovery because as long as the vaccine distribution continues, the rules of mandated health protocols will need to be imposed to contain the potential spread of the disease, Basri observed.
The enforcement of the health protocols would necessitate retaining several policies on COVID-19-related prevention measures, including restricting flight frequencies and the capacity of visitors at restaurants and shopping malls by up to 50 percent, he said.
With such restrictions, Indonesia's businesses would not be able to push and expand aggressively, he noted adding, the situation would also affect private investment.
The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of COVID-19 vaccines to help it win the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has posed a serious threat to public health and economy.
Over the past few months, the government has made all-out efforts to secure the procurement and supply of potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through a bilateral and multilateral cooperation scheme.
The government is also supporting research efforts for developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, named after the colors of the national flag, Merah Putih(Red and White).
The economic contraction of 5.32 percent in the second quarter of this year has further highlighted the need for a COVID-19 vaccine to win the fight against the disease.
The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021 may help Indonesia's economy to recover at the latest by mid-2021, Iman Sugema, a senior economist with the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), has projected.
Indonesia has so far tied up with China, and is exploring bilateral cooperation with the United Kingdom and Switzerland for COVID-19 vaccine procurement and supply.
The government has estimated that COVID-19 vaccines will be available in Indonesia by November, 2020.
The vaccines were secured during a meeting between the Indonesian delegation and the representatives of Cansino, G42, Sinopharm, and Sinovac in China on October 10 this year.
Cansino has committed to supply 100 thousand single doses of the vaccine in November, 2020 and about 15-20 million doses in 2021, while G42 and Sinopharm have pledged to supply 15 million double doses of the vaccine this year, of which, five million are expected to be provided in November this year.
Meanwhile, Sinovac has pledged to supply three million single doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December, 2020. Additionally, it has promised to provide 15 million doses in bulk.
Of the three million Sinovac doses, 1.5 million will be made available in the first week of November, while the rest will be supplied in the first week of December this year.
Sinopharm has committed to supply 50 million double doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, while Cansino and Sinovac have pledged to provide 20 million single doses and 125 million double doses, respectively. (INE)
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