July 22, 2020, 12.24 AM
An illustration of Covid-19 vaccine. ShutterstockAn illustration of Covid-19 vaccine.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comIndonesian vaccine manufacturer PT Bio Farma plans to produce up to 250 million doses of the  Covid-19 vaccine from China-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd in the first quarter of next year.

It recently received 2,400 vaccines from Sinovac, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitating the process of bringing in the Covid-19 vaccine. Bio Farma is slated to begin phase III clinical trials next month in Indonesia.

PT Bio Farma President Director Honesti Basyir said in a statement on Monday, July 20 that the clinical trials are scheduled to take place for six months, so it is targeted to complete in January 2021.

“If the phase III clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine runs smoothly, Bio Farma will produce the vaccines in the first quarter of 2021 as we have prepared production facilities with a maximum production capacity of 250 million doses,” Honesti said.

Honesti went on to say that Sinovac was chosen as a partner because the vaccine platform or vaccine manufacturing method used by the company has the same level of competency with Bio Farma.

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With the inactivation method, Bio Farma is experienced in making vaccines such as the Pertussis vaccine that protects against whooping cough.

The vaccines brought in from China on Sunday still needs a few more steps before Indonesia clinical trials start in August 2020. The steps include a series of tests in the Bio Farma laboratory and obtaining several permits.

The clinical trials will be carried out at the clinical test center of Padjajaran University’s Faculty of Medicine. The clinical trials will involve 1,620 subjects with ages ranging from 18 to 59 years old with certain criteria.

Meanwhile, the remaining vaccines will be used for tests in several laboratories, including Bio Farma and the National Food and Drug Testing Center (PPOMN).

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