"The ministry's Directorate General of Pharmacy and Medical Devices is now concentrating on buying domestic vaccines produced by (state-owned pharmaceutical company) Bio Farma," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin informed here on Monday.
The IndoVac vaccine is the result of research conducted by Airlangga University and is being produced by PT Bio Farma in Bandung, West Java.
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The vaccine, which is based on a recombinant protein subunit platform, was launched by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on October 13, 2022, for ongoing vaccinations for 12- to 17-year-olds, as well as for children aged under 12.
IndoVac also received emergency-use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) on September 24 for use as the primary vaccination (doses 1 and 2) for adults aged 18 years and over.
Bio Farma carried out a clinical trial for the use of IndoVac as a booster vaccine from September 1 to October 10, 2022, and has submitted the test results to BPOM for a feasibility review.
The company is now awaiting BPOM's decision on the EUA for the IndoVac adult booster, which is expected to be released by the end of October 2022.
Minister Sadikin informed that domestically produced vaccines are currently needed to cover the vaccine shortage in several regions.
According to the Health Ministry's Vaccination Dashboard, as of Sunday (October 16), vaccine stock shortages have been reported in 48 districts/cities in Indonesia.
There are 9 cities/districts with sufficient vaccine stocks for the next 7 to 10 days, 18 cities/districts with sufficient stocks for the next 10–14 days, and 91 cities/districts with vaccine stocks for less than 7 days.
"We have a small supply of free COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax Facility," he added.
Meanwhile, head of the ministry's communications and public service bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said that the current stock of COVID-19 vaccines based on the mRNA and inactivated virus platforms available in the central government's storage is pegged at around 200 thousand doses.
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The stocks are currently being prepared for vaccine distribution to a number of areas that have a relatively high rate of vaccinations.
"If domestic production can be optimized but stocks run low, we are trying to import more vaccines. However, we still try to get a domestic vaccine first," she added.