Indonesian President forms a National Team to Speed Up the Development of Vaccines

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President Joko Widodo has set up a national team to speed up the development of a possible Covid-19 vaccine and enhance the country’s resilience to the pandemic.  

The team was established on the National Team by Presidential Decree No. 18/2020 to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines, which the President signed on Sept. 3. While the Chair is set to oversee the team, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto was appointed to chair the steering committee of the team.  

The Minister of Research and Technology and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) head Bambang Brodjonegoro, with the assistance of Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, was responsible for the development of a potential vaccine.

The team also included the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Industry, the Minister for Trade, the Minister for Education and Culture and the head of the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM).

Wiku Adisasmito, spokesman for the Covid-19 Task Force, said at an online press conference on Tuesday (Sept 8) that the team would work until December 31, 2021, Antara news agency reported. The government has placed the development of a Covid-19 vaccine on its list of top priorities, and plans to set aside next year’s Rp 37 trillion (S$3.41 billion) for vaccine supply.

Indonesia hopes to start producing a local Covid-19 candidate vaccine called Merah-Putih (red and white)-developed by a national consortium under the Ministry of Research and Technology and headed by the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology-by mid-2021.

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