Govt to procure 426 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Jakarta The government is planning to secure 426 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the national vaccination program, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.

“For the vaccines, we plan to buy 426 million doses of vaccines. Of the total, the prices and delivery schedules of 275 million doses have been confirmed,” Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said during a hearing with Commission IX of the House of Representatives here on Monday.

The prices and delivery schedules of the remaining 151 million doses of vaccines are yet to be confirmed as the government is waiting for free vaccines from the COVAX Facility, coordinated by the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), he explained.

Beside the government-purchased doses for the national vaccination program that will be distributed for free to the public, the government is also planning to secure COVID-19 vaccines for Gotong Royong, the self-funded vaccination program under which private companies would provide vaccines free to employees.

To ensure that the Gotong Royong program does not affect the implementation of the national vaccination program, the private sector will use different vaccines than those currently offered by the government, he added.

Vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Pfizer are being administered under the government’s vaccination program. The self-funded vaccination program will use Sinopharm and Moderna vaccines, the minister informed. So far, Indonesia has received 11.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility. Based on the latest information, Indonesia may receive 54 million to 108 million doses of vaccines, Sadikin said.

“If you can get as much as possible for free, then you don’t need to buy bilateral vaccines. This is still on the move. We all know that (procurement of) vaccines remains a worldwide struggle,” he added.

In line with the Health Minister’s Regulation (Permenkes) on the Gotong Royong vaccination program, issued on March 5, 2021, the government has tasked state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Biofarma with vaccine procurement. The company will also coordinate with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) on vaccine procurement.

“The one that will purchase Gotong Royong vaccines will be Biofarma as a state-owned company. Then Biofarma can sell them to corporations. And corporations must give them for free to employees and their families. Biofarma has been deliberately (tasked) to buy these vaccines to ensure that the vaccines are genuine as Biofarma is already engaged in this field,” Sadikin explained.

The Ministry of Health is still waiting for the price and quantity of Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines to be set, based on the agreement between Biofarma and Kadin. Once the amount and price are agreed on, the Ministry of Health will issue a regulation, he said.

“In order to not affect the government program, different locations for health service facilities have been determined. The Gotong Royong will use private facilities. But the same database will be used so that we can monitor who has been vaccinated and monitor the Post-Immunization Influence Incidents (KIPI). Hence, it could be guarded jointly, ” Sadikin said.

Source: Antara News

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