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October 1, 2020, 09.29 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian medical professionals and working-age people from 18 to 59 years will be prioritized as recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine, a top health official said on Wednesday.

“The vaccine will be prioritized for the frontline workers namely all health care professionals and all workers in the medical facilities,” state news agency Antara quoted Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto as saying during a coordination meeting for the preparation of the vaccination program on September 30.

“The next priority will be given to people in the high-risk category, namely working population aged 18-59 years,” said Terawan in the meeting led by the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

Also read: President Jokowi Talks to Indonesian Nurse on Life in the Covid-19 Wards

Terawan explained that the need for vaccination across the country reached 320 million doses. If measured by the vaccine usage index, however, the government should ideally provide 352 million doses of vaccine, he added.

“The supply of vaccines will be jointly carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of State Owned Enterprises, BPOM [National Agency of Drug and Food Control], and BNPB [National Disaster Mitigation Agency],” said Terawan.

In the same meeting, Deputy State-Owned Enterprises Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that currently, the ministry’s vaccine storage can store 123 million vaccines.

Therefore, the deputy minister said, state-owned pharmaceutical companies Bio Farma and Kimia Farma are working closely to provide a cold chain equipment inventory with a capacity of up to 300 million vaccines. This facility is being prepared for storing the Covid-19 vaccines from various foreign counterparts.

Also read: Indonesian President Jokowi Urges Equal Access to Covid-19 Vaccine in UN Address

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said there have been discussions with several countries regarding the supply of the Covid-19 vaccine. Those who have expressed commitment to provide vaccines for Indonesia are China, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK.

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