Indonesia keen to join COVAX Initiative

Indonesia keen to join COVAX Initiative

Menteri Luar Negeri RI Retno Marsudi . ANTARA/HO-Kemlu RI/am.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia delivered an expression of interest to join the COVAX Initiative, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The COVAX Initiative aims to work with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that all supporting nations worldwide have fast and equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying by ANTARA here, Saturday.

Through the COVAX scheme, participating rich countries will be financing the COVID-19 vaccine from their national budgets and collaborating with 92 middle- and low-income nations through voluntary donations to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine, she remarked.

Indonesia alone belongs to a list of countries viewed as being eligible to obtain funding assistance for the COVAX Initiative for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi stated.

The COVAX Initiative, currently including nine candidate vaccines developed by applying varied technologies and scientific approaches, is aimed at obtaining and supplying two billion doses of approved vaccine by the end of 2021.

Currently, scientists globally are making all-out efforts to develop and produce safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner. To this end, Indonesia has expressed concerns over the risks and uncertainties related to their developments, she stated.

To this end, Indonesia has unswervingly drawn focus to the significance of having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the minister stated during a virtual press conference from Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday.

Over the course of the past few months, the Indonesian government has endeavored to ensure adequate supply of vaccines for the entire nation.

To explore potential cooperation in the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Marsudi, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and a team from the Health Ministry undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Marsudi had earlier noted that during the visit, the Indonesian delegates had held discussions on matters pertaining to the COVAX Initiative with related parties, including CEPI and GAVI.

Under the COVAX Initiative, once COVID-19 vaccines are available, they will be procured through the UNICEF Supply Division.

Under the cooperation scheme, the UNICEF has been mandated to coordinate the procurement and supply of the COVID-19 vaccine for over 140 nations, including Indonesia, to enable each country to have equal access and outreach to the vaccine.

The Indonesian delegation's visit to the UK and Switzerland is also expected to boost mid- and long-term cooperation between state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma and its overseas partners, Marsudi noted.
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