Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry will propose a budget for procuring the domestically produced Inavac and Indovac COVID-19 vaccines in 2023 to fulfill the community’s needs, especially for booster vaccinations.

Currently, the Indovac vaccine produced by state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma and the Inavac vaccine manufactured by PT Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia have entered the final stage of clinical trials, Director General of Pharmacy and Medical Devices at the ministry Rizka Andalusia informed here on Thursday.

At the opening ceremony of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (COMSTECH-OIC’s) Fellowship Program and the inauguration of the OIC’s Center of Excellence (COE) Network Laboratory, she said that the ministry will seek funding allocation from the Finance Ministry to purchase the vaccines.

Although the government will stop setting aside a budget for COVID-19 handling under the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) starting from 2023, the ministry will still be allowed to propose a budget for COVID-19 vaccine procurement.

As long as there is a demand from the community for vaccines for booster shots, the budget can be proposed, the director general said.

On the same occasion, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that it has been estimated that people will demand vaccines in 2023 since their immunity against the virus is projected to fall at the beginning of next year.

PT Bio Farma (Persero) said that the company is ready to produce the Indovac vaccine. Currently, its maximum production capacity has reached 20 million doses per year.

However, the production capacity can be increased to 40 million doses per year by 2023 with the addition of manufacturing facilities, President Director of PT Bio Farma Honesti Basyir informed.

Production could be further raised to 100 million doses per year by 2024, depending on the demand for the product.

President Director of PT Biotis Pharmaceuticals Indonesia F.X. Sudirman welcomed the Health Ministry’s commitment to purchasing the Inavac vaccine in 2023.

As the producer of the Inavac, which has been developed in collaboration with a research team from Airlangga University, his company is eyeing market opportunities amid the low coverage of booster vaccinations among adults, adolescents, and children in Indonesia.

According to the Health Ministry’s official website, as of 6 p.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB) on September 15, 2022, the booster vaccination coverage among adults aged 18 years and above reached just 30 percent of the total target of 141.211 million recipients.

Meanwhile, booster vaccinations were yet to be rolled out for the 26,705,490 targeted adolescents aged 12–17 years as well as 26,400,300 children aged 7–11 years.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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