Indonesia's COVID-19 vaccines quality matches WHO standards: Minister

Indonesia's COVID-19 vaccines quality matches WHO standards: Minister

State Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, concurrently chief executive of the Committee for the Handling of COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPCPEN). ANTARA/HO-KPCPEN

Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Erick Thohir has made assurance that the quality of COVID-19 vaccines to be administered in Indonesia matches the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

"Hence, when we speak about quality, it is certain that what will be offered to the people will be the quality meeting the standards. It is impossible for us to do something that endangers the people," Thohir emphasized while speaking at an online Development Control Coordination Meeting for the third quarter of 2020 here on Tuesday.

In addition to collaborating with the WHO and several international organizations to ensure its quality, Indonesia's Drug and Food Supervisory Body (BPOM) is tasked with conducting clinical trials on the vaccines.

"For the issue of halal (permissible) and haram (not based on Islamic laws), it is the same. We have involved the MUI (Indonesian Ulemas Council) from the start during the vaccine testing process in Bandung. We also sent MUI representatives to China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)," he remarked.

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The minister is optimistic that all regional leaders would facilitate the optimal dissemination of vaccine-related information to their citizens.

Thohir, concurrently chief executive of the Committee for the Handling of COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPCPEN), noted that in future, this vaccination program will comprise two categories: free vaccination for economically disadvantaged people and paid vaccines for the middle class.

"Of course, the middle class -- the people having money -- must be able to pay. Do not join the less fortunate," he remarked.

The minister stated that vaccine orders will be placed in stages, with an average of 10 million to 20 million per month, to reach all Indonesian people.  

"This is because when we order vaccines, it does not mean the goods will come at the same time," he remarked.

The development of Indonesia's indigenous Red and White vaccine is important, so that by 2022, Indonesia will no longer depend on vaccines made in foreign countries, he stated.

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