"The construction of a new vaccine-manufacturing plant will strengthen our vaccine manufacturing industry," he said while attending the groundbreaking ceremony for a vaccine-manufacturing plant of PT Jakarta Biopharmaceutical Industry (JBio) on Tuesday.
The new plant is being built in Cikande Industrial Estate, Serang district, Banten province. State-owned PT Bio Farma, a global player in the pharmaceuticals market, has been producing vaccines for Indonesia for many years, Moeldoko noted.
Building a vaccine-manufacturing plant should be regarded as a preparation for strengthening Indonesia's preventive efforts to address public health emergencies of international concern, he said.
The Presidential Chief of Staff said he considers it an endeavor to accelerate vaccine production as a national priority.
Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the novel coronavirus disease, which initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread worldwide, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Indonesia officially announced its first infections on March 2 this year.
Early this week, the Task Force for COVID-19 Response confirmed that Indonesia had recorded 4,198 additional recoveries and 4,442 fresh cases of COVID-19 in a span of 24 hours.
The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of the COVID-19 vaccine for helping win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed a grave threat to public health and the economy.
Over the past few months, the government has been working to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.
In addition, Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
To prepare for the first phase of the COVID-19 immunization program, scheduled in the third week of December, 2020, President Joko Widodo has instructed ministries and agencies to conduct nationwide COVID-19 vaccination simulations. (INE)
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