Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - Airlangga University (Unair) Rector Professor Mohammad Nasih is sanguine about the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine candidate currently being developed by university scientists being used in the government's vaccination program next year.

"The vaccine candidate is projected to be usable about 10 to 11 months from now because its preclinical stages are not simple and short," Nasih noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted in Surabaya, the capital of East Java Province, on Tuesday.

Development of the Red and White vaccine candidate by the Surabaya-based public university's scientists takes a long period of time to optimize the level of the vaccine's effectiveness, the professor remarked.

"From all the stages of processes, the Airlangga University (Unair) will not get involved too far in the massive production process of the vaccine," he noted, adding that his university's position was merely related to the vaccine development process.

To this end, Airlangga University has followed all stages properly and received the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency's (BPOM's) recommendation, according to Nasih.

"Please pray for the success of this vaccine. It is expected that all would be patient. May this Red and White vaccine soon be used by all components of society at large," he stated.

The Indonesian government is currently striving to meet the domestic demand for coronavirus vaccines.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted that six vaccine candidates can be adopted as the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine.

Two of the candidates are expected to become ready for use after their production commences this year, Sadikin remarked on the sidelines of his recent work visit to Jayapura City.

The minister acknowledged that Indonesia was seemingly a bit late in developing the indigenous vaccines -- Mera Putih or Red and White -- after the national flag though affirmed that the government had demonstrated its seriousness to the vaccine development initiative by forming special teams for the endeavor.

The availability of COVID-19 vaccine doses is crucial for every state across the globe, as it will enable them to determine their COVID-19 mitigation policies, the minister expounded.

"Now, there are only five countries producing COVID-19 vaccines. If one of them is unwilling to offer its vaccines, it will trigger difficulties," he pointed out.

To this end, the Health Ministry supports efforts to fast-track the development of Red and White vaccine candidates, so they can be produced and utilized this year, he stated.
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Translator: Irawan, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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