Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, co-chairing the COVAX AMC Engagement Group, highlighted that 46 nations had obtained COVID-19 vaccines under the global vaccine sharing program started by the World Health Organization (WHO).

While chairing a virtual COVAX AMC meeting on Wednesday night, Marsudi, in the company Ethiopian Health Minister Lia Tadesse and Canadian Minister for International Development Karina Gould, drew attention to positive developments since last January that offered a ray of hope amid challenges and dynamism that mandated proper collective handling.

“Since our last meeting, we have witnessed significant progress with the vaccination program having started in at least 131 countries, and COVAX has delivered more than 28.3 million (vaccine doses) to more than 46 countries. All of this gives hope. Let us continue to work together to maintain this momentum,” Marsudi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

The minister additionally underscored new challenges that the world faces in the form of new variants of coronavirus and matters pertaining to scheduling of vaccine delivery.

At the COVAX AMC meeting, WHO experts and the CEO of the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), among others, stated that the COVAX Facility had successfully mobilized funds amounting to US$6.3 billion (some Rp90.7 trillion) and entered a pact with vaccine manufacturing companies to procure as much as 2.3 billion doses in 2021.

Related news: Ministry upbeat 1.1 mln AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered in May

The meeting also discussed the projection of vaccine allocations and subsequent delivery times for AMC countries until the end of 2021.

With regard to the decisions of several nations to postpone the provision of AstraZeneca vaccines, especially those produced in Europe, following reports of the impact after vaccination, the WHO continues to communicate on a regular basis with various authorities in Europe and the world, in general, over the safety aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The WHO concluded that to date, the AstraZeneca vaccine offered benefits surpassing the risks faced. Hence, the WHO recommends that vaccination with AstraZeneca be continued.

The COVAX AMC Engagement Group is a forum between 92 developing and least developed countries (AMC) and donor countries for the procurement and distribution of vaccines for AMC countries. To this end, the COVAX Facility has a vaccine procurement target for 20 percent of the population of every AMC country and supports AMC countries to support their national vaccination plans.

Indonesia has until now received 1,113,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility, which is part of the allocation of the first round of AstraZeneca vaccine shipments from the global vaccine sharing scheme.

In the first round of allocations, Indonesia will receive 11,704,800 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that will be sent gradually until May 2021. Related news: Second-semester target to administer 1.5 million vaccine shots daily


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