JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian President Joko Widodo continues to call for more equal distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as the government’s support for the TRIPS Waiver, which would suspend intellectual property rights on vaccines in the WTO.
Indonesian police in North Sumatra has uncovered a ring selling Covid-19 vaccines to the general public over the past month. The bust comes less than a month after investigators arrested five people for reusing used test kits in the province’s Kualanamu Airport.
And health officials in Cilacap continue to have their hands full with the B.1.617.2 Covid-19 strain from India, after the mutation is suspected of infecting 32 medical personnel in the area’s biggest hospital weeks following the arrival of an Indian ship. This and more on Indonesia Highlights:
Indonesia’s President Jokowi Criticizes Uneven Global Distribution of Covid-19 Vaccines
President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo continues to maintain Indonesia’s advocacy for more equal distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, more than a year after the coronavirus ravaged countries around the world.
“The global disparity to access the vaccine is still wide," he said on Friday.
“As a number of [developed] countries started to vaccinate low-risk segments of their population like children and adolescents, the lowest-income countries have only received 0.3 percent of [global] vaccine supplies.”
“Developed countries received 83 percent of global Covid-19 vaccine doses, while developing countries received 17 percent for 47 percent of the world’s population," he noted. "We will only be safe from Covid-19 if all countries recovered from the coronavirus. No one is safe until everyone is.”
He proposed a number of short, medium, and long-term solutions.“The short-term solution is to intensify vaccine sharing programs such as the Covax facility. [The program] is a form of solidarity that should be encouraged, especially to deal with supply issues,” he said.
As for medium and long-term solutions, Jokowi called on countries around the world to “increase the production of vaccines to meet global demand and build-up health security. Technology and investment to increase production capacity [for the Covid-19 vaccine] should also be used.”