Eijkman, Bio Farma Aim to Distribute Covid-19 Vaccine Next Year



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology (LBM) targets the Covid-19 vaccine, named 'Merah Putih' or 'Red and White', would be made available for the public at the end of 2021.

    Eijkman chief Amin Soebandrio said the institute would develop a recombinant protein vaccine, which would become an independent Indonesian product as a Covid-19 vaccine, based on the SARS-CoV-2.

    The professor is quite confident that the vaccine seed development could be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

    "Let me first clarify that what will happen in February or March 2021 is that the Eijkman Institute will deliver vaccine seeds to the industry, so they can conduct the first, second and third phase of clinical trials, which would take six to nine months. After the clinical trial process, then the industry can obtain the distribution permit, and the vaccine can be mass-produced," he said, Wednesday, July 15.

    The industry Amin referred to is state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma (Persero). According to Amin, at the moment, the vaccine development had entered the testing stage or animal-testing.

    "When Eijkman gives the seeds to the industry (Biofarma), that would be the pre-clinical phase, where we had completed the animal tests," he explained. "Once all three clinical testing phases are completed—including human testing, then [Biofarma] can register it to the BPOM (Food and Drug Monitoring Agency). Then, halal certificate and so on. After that we will hand it over to the Health Ministry, as the implementation of vaccination is their [duty]," he said.

    Amin said the institute has succeeded in neutralizing plasma taken from recovered Covid-19 patients. The research was conducted to determine whether antibodies match the vaccine or not.

    According to Amin, the BPOM has reinforced its laboratories to support specimen testing by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). They have also formed task forces for the development of phytopharmaca and the use of biological products.

    BPOM will take a role in accelerating distribution permits and passing the products as drugs and vaccines. BPOM also accompanied several clinical trials for the drugs and vaccines as a requirement for the certification and registration.

    Amin said that once the vaccine obtains a distribution permit, the distribution mechanism will be borne by the government.

    "As this vaccine is for a pandemic, of course, it will be funded by the government, but it does not rule out the possibility that privates will participate in funding," he said.

    Read: Bio Farma: Rp103bn Needed for COVID-19 Vaccine Study