Jakarta – The government says it has secured commitments for the delivery of 271.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Of that number, 30 million doses are expected to be ready by the end of this year.
Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, who also helms the national economic recovery and COVID-19 response team, said the ordered vaccines were produced by Chinese firms Cansino, Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Airlangga also said that the government was in the process of securing 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Britain's pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
Currently, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir are abroad to secure 100 million doses of the vaccine," Airlangga said in a press conference as quoted by
Apart from sourcing COVID-19 vaccines from abroad, the government and local pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma are also working on COVID-19 vaccines.
"We need to secure the procurement of the vaccines, because 215 countries are all competing for the same thing," Airlangga said.
He added that there was an order of priority for the vaccination of different groups of people, as stated in Presidential Regulation No. 99/2020 on vaccine procurement and vaccination to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the regulation, frontline workers, from health workers and contact-tracing paramedics to military and law enforcement personnel, would be prioritized for vaccination. They number some 3.5 million people.
The second-priority group are religious and community leaders, local authorities at district, village, community and neighborhood units, who number more than 5 million individuals.
The third priority group includes more than 4 million teachers at various levels of education.
The fourth group is government officials and legislatives council members with more than 2 million individuals.
The fifth group is members of the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) whose fees are paid by the government. Their number exceeds 86 million individuals. The last group of more than 57 million is the general public.
Meanwhile, University of Indonesia epidemiologist Pandu Riono has questioned the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines to be distributed in Indonesia.
According to him, all the candidate COVID-19 vaccines are still in the clinical trial stage and there is no scientific evidence yet on their effectiveness.
"Are you sure that these vaccines are effective and safe? Where is the scientific evidence? That has never been discussed openly," Pandu said. (iwa)