Indonesia Eligible for UK’s Surplus Coronavirus Vaccine: Envoy
BY :THE JAKARTA GLOBE FRI, FEBRUARY 19, 2021
A health worker in medical gown stands inside a makeshift vaccination room at Tanah Abang Market, Central Jakarta on Feb 17, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
JAKARTA – The UK government confirmed on Friday its commitment to share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines with the COVAX procurement pool to support developing countries, very likely will include Indonesia.
The announcement came ahead of the G7 Summit chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“The UK decision to donate the majority of any future vaccine surplus to developing countries through COVAX is big, great news,” British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste, Owen Jenkins said in a statement.
“Indonesia is one of the 92 countries eligible for vaccines under COVAX, so is likely to be one of the countries that benefits from this generosity,” he added.
This comes on top of the UK’s huge donation to GAVI – £548 million – one of the largest donors, and 1/5th of the total funds raised, he said.
“Now, as the first country to commit to sharing the majority of our surplus vaccines through COVAX, this news show how the UK is a force for good in the world – demonstrating how we should tackle this pandemic with a spirit of togetherness and through our shared multilateral institutions,” Jenkins added.
G7 leaders are expected to discuss contribution of coronavirus vaccine supplies to developing countries in today’s meeting.
French President Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times he encouraged Europe and the US to send up to 5 percent of their vaccines supplies to developing countries in the face of growing influence by China and Russia, which have been distributing their vaccines across Asian and South American countries in recent months.
“We’re not talking about billions of doses immediately, or billions and billions of euros. It’s about much more rapidly allocating 4-5% of the doses we have,” Macron said.
Indonesia has vaccinated over 1.2 million citizens using China’s Sinovac vaccine as of Friday. State-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma also produced the vaccine under license from the Chinese firm and began distributing it when the second round of mass vaccination drive kicked off on Wednesday.
SOURCE:THE JAKARTA GLOBE, INDONESIA FRI, FEBRUARY 19, 2021