The Deputy-chairman of the National Committee on Policies to Mitigate COVID-19 and the Restoration of the National Economy (KPC PEN), Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, says that the Islands of Java and Bali are prioritized for any vaccination program to combat the virus.
Luhur is also the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment.
As reported by Kompas.com, Luhur said on Friday, 18 September 2020: “Why are Bali and Java prioritized? This is because the greatest prevalence of COVID-19 infections is found on those islands.” Continuing, Luhut said that those who would be first to be vaccinated would be medical personnel involved on the front time in fighting the disease.
“First will be the people who are working in the medical field. They will all be vaccinated. Let’s not have more of our doctors and nurses serving in the regions fall victim to COVID-19. I think this is the top priority,” said Luhut.
Indonesia is currently pursuing two paths to secure and effective vaccine to fight COVID-19. In the short-term to secure a vaccine, Indonesia is working with a Chinese Company Sinovac and a United Arab Emirates Company G42. To develop a vaccine, G42 is cooperating with another Chinese company, Sinopharm.
A vaccine under development by Sinovac is already undergoing third-round clinical tests in Bandung, West Java. At the same time, a vaccine from G42 is in a clinical test phase in the United Arab Emirates.
There is also a separate program underway to create a vaccine by the Indonesian Government. Dubbed the “Red & White Vaccine Program,” the work is being conducted by the Lembaga Biologi Molekuler Eijkman. The Indonesian-based initiative is still at an early stage and has yet to enter the clinical testing phase.