Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry, along with PT Pfizer Indonesia and BioNTech SE, agreed to cooperate in providing 50 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine during 2021.

"I thank you for your cooperation in helping to meet the needs of the COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia. The increase in stocks of 50 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to accelerate vaccination in Indonesia," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted in a written statement received here on Thursday.

The health minister remarked that the Pfizer vaccine cooperation agreement, also known as BNT 162b2, is part of Pfizer and BioNTech's global commitment to help overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sadikin welcomed the RNA-Based platform vaccine to be one of the COVID-19 vaccinations used to expedite the vaccination program in Indonesia.

PT Pfizer Indonesia and BioNTech SE provided 50 million doses of the vaccine after the Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) issued an emergency use approval (EUA).

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"The vaccines for COVID-19 inoculation could only be offered after a distribution permit or approval for use during an emergency period is given by the BPOM," he explained.

Pfizer and BioNTech are targeting to produce three billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine globally by the end of 2021 through updating six-dose labeling, bringing about continuous process improvements, expanding production facilities, and adding new suppliers and contract manufacturers.

Pfizer's phase 3 clinical trial was conducted using BioNTech's messenger RNA (mRNA) technology and began in late July 2020, while registration for this vaccine product was completed in January 2021 with over 46 thousand participants.

Participants will continue to be monitored to ensure their safety for two years after the second dose is injected.

BioNTech was a marketing authorization holder in the European Union as well as an emergency use authorization holder in the United States along with Pfizer, Canada, and other countries prior to a full marketing authorization application being submitted.

PT Pfizer Indonesia Country Manager Stephen Leung lauded the collaboration established between Pfizer, BioNTech, and the Indonesian Health Ministry.

"This agreement is an essential step to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine that can protect public health in Indonesia, restore the economy, and accelerate the recovery of people's conditions to normal," he affirmed.

In the meantime, BioNTech's Chief Business and Chief Commercial Officer, Sean Marett, thanked the Indonesian government for its support and trust in BioNTech's ability to develop vaccines that are believed to overcome the threat of a global pandemic.

"Our goal is to make an effective and acceptable COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people as possible around the world and as quickly as possible," Marett emphasized. Related news: Govt open to vaccine cooperation with Pfizer: Chief of Staff
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Katriana
Editor: Suharto
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