Red and White vaccine could become game-changing discovery: Thohir

Red and White vaccine could become game-changing discovery: Thohir

State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Erick Thohir (left) and Health Minister Gunadi Sadikin (right) visit KPK on Jan 8, 2021.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Erick Thohir opined that Indonesia's indigenous vaccine called Red and White, currently under development, could emerge as a game changer that will make the country self-reliant in COVID-19 vaccine production.

"Yesterday, the minister of health visited Bio Farma, and we reported that we do not want to continue to depend on imported vaccines, so we are developing the Red and White vaccine, and it takes time. Today, along with the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) and the minister of health, we will monitor the Red and White vaccine together to make it a game changer, so our country does not merely depend on foreign vaccines," Thohir stated at the KPK building here on Friday.

Indonesia has formed a consortium comprising the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), University of Indonesia (UI), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and Airlangga University (UNAIR) to develop the Red and White vaccine.

The Red and White vaccine is developed by employing a recombinant method, thereby translating to the fact that the entire virus is not used but only certain segments deemed important are reproduced and used as antigens.

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Furthermore, Indonesia will receive 15 million doses of bulk vaccine from Sinovac to then be manufactured into individual doses by Bio Farma.

"We are preparing to produce 250 million doses. We will take that decision in April, and thank God, in this December, 250 million are ready. Some 100 million have already received BPOM certificates, and God willing, 150 million will receive it in March 2021, so the total reaches 250 million," the minister revealed.

The BPOM has given a license certificate for Good Manufacturing Practices (CPOB) or a permit to Bio Farma to commence the production of COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.

"The raw materials will arrive in mid-January. The president has ordered the distribution of 5.8 million doses this January, 10.4 million in February, and 13.3 million in March," he stated.

The government has ordered 329.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers.

The foreign pharmaceutical companies providing vaccines comprise 125.5 million doses of China's Sinovac; 50 million doses from US-Canadian vaccine manufacturer Novavax; 50 million doses through multilateral cooperation between the WHO and the World Vaccine Alliance (Covax-GAVI); 50 million doses from the British manufacturer AstraZeneca; and 50 million doses of German and US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech. Related news: COVID vaccines must be stored at 2-8 degrees C: minister