Jakarta (ANTARA) - Amin Soebandrio, Head of the Eijkman Molecular Institute, said the domestically developed “Red and White” COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available for use in mid-2022. "We hope that the Red and White vaccine will be available to distribute in mid-2022, as it is still currently in the development process," he said to ANTARA in Jakarta on Monday.

During the State of the Nation Address at the Annual Session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) and the Joint Session of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) and the House of Representatives (DPR), President Joko Widodo said that the availability of vaccines, drugs and medical equipment procurements related to handling COVID-19 must be resolved soon.

Soebandrio stressed the development of the vaccine is part of the efforts to achieve independence in meeting the country's demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine’s development is the first for Indonesia, which is creating its own vaccine from scratch, so the production process may not be completed within the same timeframe as larger companies that have produced vaccines for a long time, he added.

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"We anticipate about 18 to 24 months to make the vaccine itself. The process cannot be as fast as major vaccine companies that started producing a long time ago," he further said, noting that calculations showed the development of the Red and White vaccine can take up to two years before it reaches ready-to-use status.

Soebandi explained 90 per cent of research and development activities for the vaccine have been completed.

"We are currently in the transition process. Since January, we have been working with Bio Farma to scale up, optimize and increase yield and productivity," Amin affirmed.

The vaccine will also need to go through a testing process to determine its level of safety and efficacy, as well as to be given approval for a 'Halal' status.

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Translator: Martha HS, Aria Cindyara
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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