Jakarta – Indonesia has received a delivery of 500,000 doses of Janssen vaccine from the Netherlands on Saturday, following a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from France a day earlier, as part of the European countries' vaccine sharing program to boost vaccination rate across the globe.
Both the Netherland and France have committed to sending up to 3 million vaccine doses each to Indonesia under their vaccine sharing initiative with the developing countries worldwide.
"This is the third time the Dutch cooperation has arrived. Previously, Indonesia had received 657,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the Netherlands as part of a dose-sharing commitment from the Netherlands as many as three million doses," Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said in a statement on Saturday.
On Friday, a batch of 358,700 AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrived in Indonesia, the first delivery from France through Covax/Gavi, a WHO-backed scheme for global vaccine distribution. Earlier, the United States, Japan, and Australia have also shared their vaccines with Indonesia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had asked developed countries to distribute their vaccine surplus to the rest of the world to address the global vaccine imbalance.
Retno said 80 percent of 5.5 billion Covid-19 vaccine shots delivered around the globe so far were in middle and high-income countries, which had moved early to secure vaccines supply from producers.
The Economist reported that only 2 percent of adults in low-income countries were fully vaccinated today, far lower than 50 percent in high-income ones. The publication also noted that between 1 million to 2.8 million lives could die if the rich countries keep their vaccine surplus this year, citing an analysis from Airfinity, a life-sciences data firm.
Unvaccinated populations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, would provide a breeding ground for the SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that caused Covid-19, to spread unchecked, allowing it to mutate into more ferocious variants, WHO warned.
So, vaccinating as many people as fast as possible is key to prevent such scenario. Retno said the WHO targeted at least 10 percent of the population in every country would have been vaccinated by the end of September 2021 through the dose sharing initiative.
First Jenssen delivery
Saturday's Janssen delivery was the first of its kind for Indonesia. Up until today, all of the country's stocks consist of vaccines that needed to be delivered twice to be effective. That's complicates the vaccine logistics, especially in the archipelago's most remote area.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Indonesia, Lambert Grijns, said Janssen vaccine would be ideal for vaccinating people in remote area as health workers only needed to make a single trip to deliver them, he said in the statement.
The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Janssen vaccine last Tuesday. The agency said Janssen vaccine had 66.1 percent efficacy to prevent moderate to critical Covid-19 symptoms. The efficacy was slightly higher, 67.2 percent, in preventing any symptoms of Covid-19.
Janssen Covid-19 vaccine is a vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, using Adenovirus (Ad26) as the non-replicating viral vector platform.