JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s efforts to obtain Covid-19 vaccines for the country is about to pay off, following rounds of intensive multilateral diplomacy over the past year. Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi is upbeat about the negotiations.
“At the beginning of talks with the World Health Organization or WHO and the Global Alliance of Vaccinations and Immunizations or GAVI [in 2020], we expected to take delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines in the third or fourth quarter of 2021,” she said on Wednesday, January 13.
“The progress of the talks, and the dynamic nature of developments, means that we might even expect the vaccines [from GAVI] and their affiliates at the COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group (AMC EG) to be ready by the second quarter of 2021.”
Retno added that Indonesia’s standing as a member of AMC EG entitles the country to obtain the group’s resources to procure vaccines for up to 20 percent of the country’s population, the step is not without challenges.
“Procuring vaccines to treat 20 percent of the country’s population needs time, as it entails the availability of the forum’s resources, as well as the nation’s readiness to receive the vaccines. Their procurement also needs time.”
However, Retno is certain that close multilateral cooperation will pay dividends. This is reflected in her election as co-chairperson of COVAX AMC EG, alongside Ethiopian Minister of Health Lia Tadesse and Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould.
Indonesia recently signed a request form with COVAX AMC EG to obtain up to 108 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The country aims to get at least 371 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from GAVI COVAX and pharmaceutical companies such as Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer, among others, to vaccinate 181 million Indonesians through 2022.