Jakarta (ANTARA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has lauded Indonesia’s leadership in promoting global solidarity and equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.

At a press conference at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Monday, WHO Country Representative in Indonesia, N Paranietharan, said Indonesia has shown exemplary leadership in global solidarity and initiatives.

“When it comes to COVAX, we have to appreciate Indonesia’s global leadership. Foreign Minister Retno (Marsudi) herself is a co-chair of the AMC group of countries to foresee this vaccine allocation and distribution to the countries,” he stated.

He also highlighted Indonesia’s efforts to promote equity in access to vaccines for all countries across the globe.

COVAX, the global initiative co-led by vaccine alliance GAVI, the WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), has set an ambitious goal to deliver up to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of the year to all countries in the world, Paranietharan said.

“It is a hugely ambitious goal that started off last year. Now, we see the result of it and more shipments (are expected) to come to Indonesia as well,” he added.

A number of other countries, he continued, have received shots via the COVAX initiative as well.

Related news: Indonesia gets over 1 mln AstraZeneca shots under COVAX scheme

Indonesia on Monday received 1,113,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the first shipment of the first batch of vaccines. Indonesia will receive a total of 11,704,800 shots in the first batch. The first batch of shipments will continue to arrive until May, 2021.

Paraniethatan said he hoped the arrival of vaccines from COVAX will add to and further strengthen the national vaccination program in one of the very few developing countries that have started vaccinations. He said he considers the vaccination program as a display of exemplary leadership at the national level.

“It is time for health equity for everyone, and it is important that we take these vaccines to the people who need them the most and make sure no one is left behind,” Paranietharan remarked.

He also expressed the WHO’s readiness to cooperate with the government and people of Indonesia to ensure that the pandemic comes to an end soon. (INE)

Related news: Over 2.41 million Indonesians get first vaccine dose

Reporter: Aria Cindyara
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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