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Thu, 01/13/2022 - 12:23
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Indonesia accelerates development of Merah Putih vaccine

Jakarta, January 13, (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (PMK) Muhadjir Effendy urged relevant authorities to expedite production of the Merah Putih vaccine, so that domestically-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine products can be used immediately. Based on a government's press release received here on Thursday, development of the Merah Putih Vaccine is currently being conducted by Airlangga University along with PT Biotis, PT Bio Farma partnering with Baylor College of Medicine, University of Indonesia collaborating with PT Etana, Bandung Institute of Technology, PRBM Eijkman BRIN along with PT Bio Farma, as well as Padjadjaran University working alongside PT Bio Farma and Lipotek. The Merah Putih vaccine developed by Airlangga University along with PT Biotis is planned to be released in early 2022 and is expected to be ready for mass production in mid-2022. At a coordination meeting held to discuss the production of domestic vaccines on Wednesday, Effendy urged the Health Ministry to encourage producers to immediately produce the Merah Putih Vaccine. "We are optimistic that this production would be accelerated without compromising on the quality, precision, and accuracy of the products," he affirmed. The minister is upbeat that the vaccine developed by the research team would be used immediately to support efforts to surmount the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. "If we can achieve the maximum target, we hope to be able to end the (COVID-19) outbreak by using a domestically-made vaccine," he emphasized. "I call it husnul khatimah. We are proud to be able to hold the Merah Putih Flag high because we can solve (the pandemic) with the vaccine we have," he remarked. He also explained that development of COVID-19 vaccines in the country was conducted by the government in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, research institutions, and universities. Meanwhile, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin affirmed that the primary Merah Putih Vaccine could be launched no later than March 2022 and the vaccine product is targeted to be used for primary vaccination in children no later than June 2022. In the meantime, the use of domestic vaccine products, such as boosters, could be postponed until August 2022 after taking into account the response to foreign vaccine products during primary vaccination and booster vaccination using domestically produced vaccines, according to Sadikin.