Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi affirmed that procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine, through the COVAX global facility, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vaccines Alliance (GAVI), will be sooner, in the 2021 second quarter.

“We see a trend of progress […] if initially the vaccine, via the multilateral route, would only be available in the third quarter or fourth quarter, then in recent communications (with the WHO and GAVI), multilateral vaccines are likely to be available in the second quarter of 2021,” Marsudi notified reporters on Wednesday.

To gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine from GAVI, Indonesia, included in 92 low- and middle-income nations, will be assisted by donor countries through the funding mechanism of COVAX AMC.

Indonesia has made the submissions required by the COVAX Facility: an expression of interest letter on October 16, 2020; a request for technical assistance form on November 27, 2020; and a request form for vaccine part A on December 7, 2020, and followed by a part B vaccine request form related to indemnification on January 8, 2021.

The next submission by Indonesia is a form of a cold chain equipment (CCE) support request related to the technical capacity of providing vaccine cooling systems in the first quarter of 2021.

As one of the advance market commitment (AMC) countries, Indonesia has the opportunity to obtain vaccines, with full subsidies, for 20 percent of the total population, or some 54 million people.

By signing the part B vaccine form, Indonesia has the opportunity to receive up to 108 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility.

Vaccine deliveries from the COVAX Facility will be gradual, at three percent, in the first quarter of 2021 and proportionately to the 92 AMC countries.

Earlier, 1.2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in the country and are currently awaiting permission from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).

Hartarto noted that 1.8 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected to arrive in January 2021 along with raw materials for producing 15 million doses of the vaccine.