President elicits support for vaccine development

President elicits support for vaccine development

President Joko Widodo (middle) accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto (third right) and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo (left) witnessing vaccinators giving Sinovac's COVID-19 shot to Ahmad Muwafiq in a Mass Vaccination campaign in the Central Java Grand Mosque in Semarang, Wednesday (10/3/2021). The campaign is prioritized for ulemas, interfaith leaders and students in the Central Java region. ANTARA FOTO/Aji Styawan/arwa.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has pressed for support for vaccine development in Indonesia in a bid to speed up the availability of vaccines as the COVID-19 pandemic ploughs on.

"Currently, the vaccines being developed in the country, include the Red and White vaccine and the Nusantara (Archipelago) Vaccine, which we need to continuously support," the head of state emphasized in Jakarta, Friday.

Widodo highlighted the significance of research and development in the areas of medications and vaccines to attain pharmaceutical independence in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.  

"We must also accelerate the availability of vaccines amid the COVID-19 pandemic," he stressed.

The president underscored the importance of innovation as the key to the development of countries, including Indonesia, which necessitated promoting and supporting all innovations.

The Ministry of Research and Technology and Ministry of Health had earlier inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation on developing Indonesia's indigenous Red and White vaccine on March 4.

Research and Technology Minister and head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Bambang P. S. Brodjonegoro remarked that the MoUs were a form of collaboration for supporting the acceleration of the Red and White vaccine's development to help the nation achieve vaccine self-sufficiency.

Indonesia has commenced its vaccination campaign with the administration of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. The country also recently received over 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca shots under the multilateral COVAX initiative.
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