Indonesia secures 185 million vaccine doses amid scarce supply

Indonesia secures 185 million vaccine doses amid scarce supply

Screenshot - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi addresses the 6th Glbal Congress of the Indonesian diaspora Network (IDN) themed ‘Post COVID-19: A Stronger Indonesia with Diaspora’, on Saturday (August 14, 2021). ANTARA/Youtube Diaspora Indonesia/pri. (ANTARA/Youtube Diaspora Indonesia)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has secured and received a total of 185 million vaccine doses, both in the form of ready-to-use and bulk vaccines, as of Friday (August 13, 2021), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, has said.

“Surely the Indonesian diplomacy is working day and night to secure vaccines for Indonesians both through bilateral and multilateral means,” she said at the 6th Global Indonesian Diaspora Network Congress, held virtually on Saturday.

She also said that the government has continued to make efforts to accelerate the vaccination drive, and, at the same time, maintained mobility restrictions to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Speaking about the vaccination drive, the minister said that up until now, Indonesia has provided over 80 million vaccine doses, or covered about 28.6 percent of the total population through the immunization program.

“Indonesia is recorded as the 10th largest country that has distributed over 80 million doses of vaccines,” Marsudi said.

Amid scarcity of vaccine supply at the moment, vaccine procurement has come with challenges, the minister said. However, the government has continued to make serious efforts to secure doses for Indonesia to ensure that domestic supply is met, she added.

Related news: Indonesia upbeat of securing COVID-19 vaccine supplies for August

Furthermore, the Foreign Minister highlighted the gap in global vaccine distribution that is still relatively wide, saying vaccination ownership is still centered on developed countries.

"We see the data from the World Health Organization (WHO) that an average of 104 doses of vaccine are given per 100 people in developed countries, exceeding the population, while 29 low-income countries only have two vaccine doses per 100 people," she said.

In addition, in North America and Europe, the percentage of vaccines given has reached 87.12 percent and 91.21 percent of the total population, while in Africa it has reached 5.46 percent and in ASEAN 27.97 percent of the population, she pointed out.

"If this inequality continues, then it will be difficult for us to imagine that this pandemic will end soon," she added.

Therefore, Marsudi said she will continue to advocate for equal access to vaccines for all countries in the world, especially developing countries, through her role as one of the Co-Chairs of the COVAX AMC Engagement Group together with the Minister of Health of Ethiopia and the Minister of National Development of Canada.

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