"Indonesia, with a population of 270 million, needs vaccine in large quantities. Moreover, re-vaccination or vaccine booster would be required. Hence, cooperation with other countries is direly needed for the development of a domestic vaccine to support self-reliance in vaccine production," Research and Technology Minister Bambang P. S. Brodjonegoro affirmed.
Brodjonegoro, concurrently chief of the National Research and Innovation Board (BRIN), made the statement at an online press conference held on the sidelines of a working visit in Cibinong, West Java, to convey a decree on formation of a National Team for the Red and White COVID-19 Vaccine Development and to inspect the Innovation, Science, and Technology Development Center Building.
The decree pertains to the appointment of research teams of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and University of Indonesia (UI) to partake in the development of the National Team for Red and White COVID-19 Vaccine. The Red and White vaccine is a COVID-19 vaccine developed locally by using the isolated virus circulating across Indonesia.
LIPI Chief Laksana Tri Handoko drew attention to the long span of time taken to develop the COVID-19 vaccine since it is developed from its seed.
"The initial stage covers pre-clinical trials of the vaccine seed and vaccine test on animals. We must go through phases I, II, and III to see the efficacy and security of the vaccine," he noted.
After the vaccine clears the third-phase clinical trial and is administered to the people, monitoring would nonetheless be conducted for the next five to 10 years since its side effects will not emerge immediately, he expounded.
The monitoring is deemed necessary to maintain the safety and quality of the vaccine, he stated.
Chief of the Consortium for COVID-19 Research and Innovation of the Research and Technology Ministry Ali Ghufron stated that in addition to helping the country handle the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine also demonstrated Indonesia’s capability to singlehandedly produce the COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, six institutes -- the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Airlangga University (Unair), LIPI, UI, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and Gadjah Mada University (UGM) -- are developing the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine through different platforms.
Brodjonegoro projected the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine to be ready for distribution in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Hopefully, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the Red and White vaccine would be distributed to the public," Brodjonegoro stated here recently.
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