Indonesia stresses need for raising global vaccine production

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks at the Global Town Hall 2021, held virtually from Jakarta on Saturday (November 20, 2021). (ANTARA/Azis Kurmala) 

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has stressed the need for increasing global COVID-19 vaccine production in the short term.

“Diversified vaccine production in developing nations will contribute to the endeavor to increase global vaccine production,” she said at the Global Town Hall 2021, held virtually from Jakarta on Saturday.

The endeavor needs strong infrastructure in the form of research centers, storage facilities, and human resources, she noted.

“Restrictions on raw material exports must be stopped, while technological transfer must be facilitated,” the minister said.

Thereafter, developing nations must increase their capacity to absorb vaccines, she added.

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“Many (nations) need assistance to speed up their vaccination coverage. International financial institutions can provide much-needed financing,” Marsudi remarked.

At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) must intensify its involvement in designing an effective vaccination strategy, she said.

In addition, all countries must be able to meet the WHO-set vaccination target, she added. The move needs commitment for the principles of equity, COVID-19 vaccination opportunities among healthcare workers, and protecting vulnerable people, she said.

All dose-sharing pledges must be fulfilled soon, she added. Richer countries that have excess vaccine supply or high vaccination coverage must consider sharing their vaccine doses, Marsudi said.

“Vaccine producers also need to start allocating more doses for COVAX,” she added.

In the long run, all countries must build their experiences in handling COVID-19, she informed.

“There are two main priorities for us now. The first thing is building stronger national health infrastructures. This means (we need) investment in a strong healthcare system that all people can afford. This will also strengthen our health industry to increase production and distribution capacity,” she said.

International cooperation in vaccine research and development must be intensified, including with the GAVI Alliance and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, she added. 

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