JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency or BPOM has announced that Indonesia is set towards self-sufficiency in Covid-19 vaccines, as production of its homegrown Merah Putih (red and white) vaccines is set to kick off in early 2022.
"We hope to start mass production of the Merah Putih vaccine, which is a 'deactivated virus', in the beginning of 2022. The vaccine will be jointly produced byAirlangga University and Biotis Ltd," said BPOM head Penny Lukito in a press conference Friday.
"BPOM will assist Airlangga University and Biotis Ltd. in fulfilling the good manufacturing practice (GMP) clinical trials for the vaccines, which we expect will be obtained within the next few months."
Also read: Indonesia Highlights: BPOM Disavows Clinical Tests of Homegrown Covid-19 Vaccine | Indonesian Flag Carrier Garuda Indonesia Prohibits Shipment of Vivo Cellphones | Carrion Flower in Indonesia's West Sumatra Province Bears Fruit
She added that the simultaneous development of the Merah Putih vaccine by the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology (LMB) and Bio Farma Ltd., which is made with a recombinant protein platform, is expected to be produced in 2022.
"We hope to grant EUA or Emergency Use Authorization [to the Eijkman and Bio Farma Merah Putih Vaccine] by the first semester of 2022 EUA, on completion of clinical trials. Once that happens, we can start producing the vaccine in the second semester of 2022," Penny said.
Eijkman LMB Chairman Amin Soebandrio said he aims to obtain the Merah Putih vaccine's EUA by June 2022.
"Our target has been moved up from Bio Farma's original target of obtaining the EUA by November 2022, as some of processes can be shortened," Amin said last March.
"We hope we will be able to complete phase 1, 2 and 3 of clinical trials, so that the UAE can be obtained at the end of June 2022
The Merah Putih vaccine, named after the country's national flag, does not refer to just one type of vaccine. Instead, the vaccine is developed by a research consortium under the Ministry of Research and Technology/National Research and Innovation Agency (Kemenristek/BRIN).
Indonesia hopes the homegrown vaccines will ensure that the country's vaccination needs are met and make the country an example of global health resilience.
(Writer : Haryanti Puspa Sari, Nicholas Ryan Aditya | Editor : Icha Rastika, Dani Prabowo)