Minister readies Rp34.23 trillion funding for Covid-19 vaccine procurement
Published on: Saturday, November 14, 2020
By: Antara News
JAKARTA: Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (pic) has prepared Rp34.23 trillion in funds comprising Rp5 trillion for this year and Rp29.23 trillion for 2021 in relation to procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and vaccinations.“We have readied backups for the procurement of vaccines for this year and the next year,” the minister noted at the Joint Meeting with Commission XI of the Indonesian Parliament in Jakarta, Thursday.
Indrawati expounded that this budget was sourced from the burden sharing scheme between the government and Bank Indonesia (BI) regarding spending on public goods for the health sector.
The minister also drew attention to the government’s reallocation in order to expedite the absorption of the national economic recovery budget (PEN), including in the health sector, which comprises a vaccine procurement program.
“The composition of PEN has changed since we conducted an evaluation. Hence, in case a programme does not progress or the challenges are big, we try to allocate it to other fields,” she elaborated.
Indrawati pointed out that in the health sector, the earlier Rp87.55 trillion had currently become Rp97.26 trillion, including spending on handling Covid-19, Rp45.32 trillion; incentives for health workers of Rp6.63 trillion; death compensation of Rp0.06 trillion; and national health insurance (JKN) contribution assistance of Rp4.11 trillion.
Furthermore, Rp3.5 trillion for the task force, Rp3.49 trillion for tax incentives, Rp5 trillion for reserves for healthcare and vaccines, and reserves for vaccination and social protection programmes in 2021 reaching Rp29.23 trillion. Almost 180 million Indonesians would have be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to achieve herd immunity against the infection, Research and Technology Minister Bambang Permadi Soemantri Brodjonegoro had earlier announced. “If (we) use the herd immunity formula, then two-thirds, or 180 million of the (Indonesian) population, would need to be vaccinated. Since one person would need to be vaccinated twice, we will require at least 360 million doses (of the vaccine),” he stated at an online press conference on the development of the Covid-19 vaccine and therapy here on Tuesday. – Antara News
Hence, if the entire Indonesian population of 270 million were to be vaccinated, then the country would require 540 million doses of the vaccine, he revealed.
To meet the vaccine requirement, the domestic vaccine industry should be able to produce 360 million to 540 million vaccine doses, he stated.
State-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma will be unable to fulfil this requirement, as its production capacity is currently pegged at 250 million doses annually, he remarked.
To boost vaccine production, the Research and Technology Ministry has cooperated and negotiated with several private pharmaceutical companies that are ready to invest in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, he revealed.
The companies interested in investing to develop Covid-19 vaccines comprise PT Kalbe Farma, PT Sanbe Farma, PT Daewoong Pharmaceutical Company Indonesia, PT Biotis, and Tempo Scan.
“Several of them have made investments and handled permits with the BPOM (Drug and Food Supervisory Agency), while others are preparing investment plans and handling permits (with BPOM),” the minister noted.
In addition to singlehandedly developing a vaccine, Indonesia has secured the commitment of foreign pharmaceutical firms for the supply of vaccines.
Although the companies have offered to supply vaccines in complete form, the Indonesian government will prioritise cooperation involving the transfer of technology, including placing the vaccine sent from abroad into bottles for the purpose of vaccination.
“We have established cooperation not only with China and AstraZeneca but also with Korea and Turkey. In essence, we are encouraging cooperation in favour of Indonesia,” he added.
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