Jakarta (ANTARA) - Development of a State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) vaccine, currently in the final stage of testing, reflects Indonesia's ability to produce the COVID-19 vaccine, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) researcher, Muhammad Habib Abiyan Dzakwan, stated.

"It is about time for Indonesia to stand with developed countries in an effort to independently produce the COVID-19 vaccine," Dzakwan noted in a written statement received here, Saturday.

The researcher later remarked that the development of SOEs vaccine was important to build self-reliance in providing vaccines in handling COVID-19.

"We have seen some countries experience a spike in COVID-19 cases despite high vaccination coverage," he stated.

With a large population, Indonesia should be able to provide vaccines independently to boost the people's immunity against COVID-19. The ability to independently produce the COVID-19 vaccine could reduce the burden of health costs from imported vaccines, he remarked.

Dzakwan suggested that the development of SOEs vaccine must be conducted in accordance with internationally applicable scientific principles in coordination with relevant experts and institutions, such as the Ministry of Health, the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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The researcher also conveyed the importance of providing research centers and vaccine production infrastructure at the regional level to achieve independence in vaccine production.

"Collaboration with the private sector must be taken into consideration to produce domestic vaccine. A commitment to ensure the funding is also important," Dzakwan stated.

He reminded that the main challenge in developing SOEs vaccines is the supply of vaccine raw materials and the vaccine distribution.

"We know that Indonesia is a large country and comprises many islands. The challenge is to distribute the SOEs vaccine on time to reach the sub-district level," he added.

Dzakwan emphasized that SOEs should also cooperate with religious institutions and civil society institutions in disseminating information on the benefits of SOE vaccines. The success of developing SOEs vaccines could boost national health security and support Indonesia's diplomatic efforts.

"Indonesia will no longer become a market for foreign vaccines but is also capable of producing vaccine on its own. This means that vaccine can possibly become a new export commodity for Indonesia," he concluded.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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