Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, in a virtual press conference from New York, United States, said that cooperation is the key and the engine of Indonesia’s diplomacy which will continue to work to establish cooperation so that domestic vaccine needs are fulfilled.
“Today, one million doses of Sinovac vaccine, aided by the PRC (People’s Republic of China) government, have arrived. Today also arrived one million doses of Sinovac vaccine, assisted by the Sinovac company, which is provided free of charge,” said Retno.
Three days ago, continued Retno, Indonesia also received a donation of 200 thousand doses of the Sinovac vaccine from the Chinese Red Cross Society.
Retno added that with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, at the arrival point or Soekarno Hatta Airport, the number of vaccines that have arrived in Indonesia to date is 273,603,790 doses, both in the form of ready-made vaccines and bulk vaccines.
Retno explained at the UN General Assembly on Thursday (23/9), UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that a number of countries had vaccine surpluses while some other countries did not have vaccines.
In the UN forum, President Joko Widodo also raised similar concerns. Jokowi stressed that economic recovery can only be done if the world overcomes the pandemic together, including narrowing the gap in access to vaccines.
According to Retno, a similar message was also conveyed by Jokowi at the Global Summit to End COVID-19 Pandemic on September 22, 2021. Jokowi said that vaccine inequality between countries must be addressed immediately through the Covax Facility and cooperation in sharing vaccines. Equitable access to vaccines must also continue to be improved.
Jokowi also emphasized that the politicization and nationalism of vaccines must end.
At the press conference, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian explained that the donation of one million doses of Sinovac vaccine was part of the Chinese government’s efforts to support the Indonesian government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“(Sinovac vaccine assistance) was given after China previously donated 120 ventilators, 400 oxygen generators, and supplies of other related medical equipment to the Indonesian government last August,” said Qian.
According to Qian, various parties in China, including the private sector have and will assist Indonesia in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes that under the leadership of President Joko Widodo and the support of all the people, Indonesia will be able to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qian said that since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March last year, China and Indonesia have supported each other in overcoming the disease outbreak through strengthened bilateral cooperation.
He said Sinovac had exported 215 million doses of vaccine to Indonesia or 20 percent of China’s total vaccine exports to the world.
According to Qian, five Chinese vaccine manufacturers have operated in Indonesia in terms of research and development to production using four different technologies. China is actively supporting Indonesia to become a regional vaccine production center.
Qian emphasized that in the future Indonesia will not only be able to meet its own vaccine needs but also be able to export to other countries. [fw/em]