The East Java provincial government has said it will support the development of Airlangga University's Red and White COVID-19 vaccine candidate right up to its final stages.
"In principle, the provincial administration is ready to support the development processes of this vaccine candidate until its final stages," East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said here on Monday.
She conveyed the provincial government's support during a meeting with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
Representatives of Unair's COVID-19 vaccine research team and Dr. Soetomo public hospital accompanied the governor to the meeting.
At the meeting, Pandjaitan expressed the hope that the final stage of the Unair's vaccine development can be completed by December, 2021, so that it can be mass produced in 2022, she disclosed.
In a statement released in April this year, Unair’s Rector, Professor Mohammad Nasih, had said he believes that the vaccine candidate that is being developed by university scientists could be used in the government's vaccination program next year.
"The vaccine candidate is projected to be usable about 10 to 11 months from now because its preclinical stages are not simple and short," Nasih explained.
The development of the Red and White vaccine candidate by the Surabaya-based public university's scientists would extend over a long period of time to optimize the vaccine's effectiveness, the professor remarked.
"From all the stages of processes, the Airlangga University will not get involved too far in the massive production process of the vaccine," he informed, adding that his university's is merely concerned with the vaccine development process.
Airlangga University has followed all stages of the vaccine’s development properly and received recommendations from the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), according to Nasih.
"Please pray for the success of this vaccine. It is expected that all would be patient. May this Red and White vaccine soon be used by all components of society at large," he stated.
The Indonesian government is currently striving to meet domestic demand for coronavirus vaccines.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said that six vaccine candidates currently being developed by Indonesian scientists can be adopted as the Red and White COVID-19 vaccine.
Two of the candidates are expected to become ready for use after their production commences this year, Sadikin remarked on the sidelines of a recent work visit to Jayapura city.
The minister acknowledged that Indonesia has seemingly been a bit late in developing its indigenous vaccine candidates, named after the national flag, but asserted that the government has demonstrated its seriousness towards the vaccine development initiative by forming special teams for the endeavor.
The availability of COVID-19 vaccine doses is crucial for all states across the globe, as it would allow them to determine their COVID-19 mitigation policies, the minister expounded. (Antaranews)