BANDUNG: Indonesia will be given priority access to the technical know-how on producing the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine once the candidate obtains regulatory approval, an official said on Wednesday (Aug 12).
This is among the benefits of Indonesia participating in the late-stage human trial of the vaccine candidate produced by Sinovac Biotech, which is one of the few in the world to enter phase 3 clinical trials.
“Of course we’ll get priority, it is their commitment,” said Bio Farma’s head of clinical trials Rini Mulia Sari.
Bio Farma, a state-owned pharmaceutical firm and the country's only vaccine producer, is partnering with the University of Padjajaran to conduct the trials in Indonesia.
They will test the vaccine candidate, known as CoronaVac, on 1,620 volunteers for six months. Sinovac will also conduct trials in several other countries such as Brazil and Bangladesh.
If the trials are successful, Bio Farma will produce the vaccine at its facility in Bandung.
“There will also be a transfer of technology. So, the ones that will be marketed (in Indonesia) will be those manufactured at Bio Farma, meaning it will carry Bio Farma's brand,” said Ms Sari during a media briefing at Bio Farma's premises in Bandung.
Transfer of technology would include the formula to produce the vaccine, said a spokesperson from the company.
The pharmaceutical firm's officials believed that the vaccine could be ready for use as early as March next year.
Apart from this partnership with Sinovac, Indonesia is currently also developing its own vaccine.
It is also working with other potential vaccine producing countries such as South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
The Sinovac's clinical trial in Indonesia came as Southeast Asia’s largest economy is struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19. More than 130,000 infections have been recorded as of Wednesday, with about 5,900 deaths.