Four million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the US are aimed at Indonesia, the US national security adviser told the Indonesian foreign minister, as the country’s battles record coronavirus infections and deaths. an emergency closure from Saturday.
In a call with Retno Marsudi on Friday, Jake Sullivan said the doses would be shipped through COVAX’s global vaccine-sharing program “as soon as possible,” according to a White House statement.
Sullivan said the donation “underscored U.S. support for the people of Indonesia as they fight an increase in COVID-19 cases.”
The two officials also discussed U.S. plans to increase assistance for Indonesia’s broader response efforts to COVID-19, according to the statement.
“Sullivan stressed the importance the Biden-Harris administration attaches to Indonesia, Southeast Asia and ending the pandemic more broadly and pledged to provide continued support and high-level commitment,” he says. the statement.
The nation has recorded new record infections in eight of the last 12 days, including 25,830 new cases and 539 deaths on Friday.
In Jakarta province alone, Governor Anies Baswedan said at a news conference on Friday that active cases have already reached 78,000 of the 27,000 in February.
Anies said that if the trend continues, active cases could reach 100,000 in a few days.
Since last year’s pandemic, Indonesia has reported a total of 2,228,938 cases and 59,534 deaths.
The rise in new cases and deaths has prompted President Joko Widodo to declare emergency restrictions on the movement from Saturday on the island of Java and Bali. The blockade will be effective until July 20.
Vaccine diplomacy in competition
Penny K Lukito, the head of the Indonesian food and drug agency, said Friday that he authorized the Modern vaccine for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the country’s health minister also announced on Friday that Indonesia plans to vaccinate children under 18 with the mRNA coronavirus fired jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that on the island of Java, where about half of the country’s more than 270 million people live, was where most of the outbreaks occurred with the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19. The variant was first identified in India.
“She was healthy, the pregnancy was normal and she’s suddenly gone.”
As Indonesia’s most populous island, Java is experiencing the highest growth of COVID-19, families are saying goodbye to their loved ones in makeshift cemeteries ➡ https://t.co/BzjHgUfJP2 pic.twitter.com/TeNcxTwXZb
– Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 24, 2021
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 84% effective, even with the Delta variant, after two doses, but only at 34% with a single dose, according to a report by the American website NBC Boston.
Moderna also announced Tuesday that its vaccine showed promise against the Delta variant, based on a study in eight participants’ blood serum obtained a week after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
The company said the vaccine was much more effective at producing antibodies against the Delta variant than against the beta variant first identified in South Africa.
Indonesia has relied mainly on the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, but has been looking to diversify sources of supply.
Washington has been competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical influence through so-called vaccine diplomacy, though it has said it does not share vaccines to get favors or extract concessions, but to save lives and end the pandemic.
The Biden administration pledged last month to share an initial 80 million vaccines manufactured in the United States worldwide, amid concerns about disparity in vaccination rates between advanced and developing countries.
It has already announced plans to provide vaccines to other Southeast Asian countries: the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.
It has also said it will buy 500 million Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines for distribution in the African Union and 92 low- and middle-income countries.