Home Asian News The delay of the COVID-19 vaccine pushes Indonesia into dependence on China...

The delay of the COVID-19 vaccine pushes Indonesia into dependence on China – The Diplomat


China has promised to work with Indonesia to try to close the global “vaccine gap”, as the Southeast Asian nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak and delivery delays. Vaccine.

On Tuesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who told him China would help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center while making efforts vaccinate your own people. China and Indonesia both “value the safety of their lives and the health of their people, and oppose ‘vaccine nationalism’,” a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Xi is interpreted as said.

Indonesia has recorded the largest number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia. Since peaking in January and February, Indonesia’s cases have finally started to decline, but the country is still recording about 5,000 cases per day.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health of this country took note 5,720 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its active total to 1,620,569. It also recorded 230 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 44,007. Many experts believe these numbers speak to the true level of COVID-19 in Indonesia, where in the early stages of the pandemic there is one of the lowest test rates in the world.

Due to the inability to completely control the virus, the Indonesian government actively sought to buy vaccines to vaccinate its 270 million people. In January, Jokowi’s government launched an ambitious plan to vaccinate about 181.5 million people against COVID-19 within one year.

To provide the required dosage, Indonesia has turned to many different suppliers. Chinese company Sinovac has to offer about 56 million doses so far, while Indonesia also forward More than 20.2 million doses in the coming months come from Sinopharm, another Chinese manufacturer and American pharmaceutical company Moderna.

Indonesia also reached an agreement for the import of about 104 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, but deliveries have been affected by a variety of delays. Of the first 50 million AstraZeneca doses, which Indonesia secured through a bilateral agreement, only 20 million will arrive this year, with the remaining 30 million to be shipped by Q2 2022, Minister Y Saci Gunadi Sadikin told a congressional hearing on April 8.

Indonesia is also expected to receive 54 million phased doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the global vaccine-sharing facility COVAX, produced by the Serum Institute of India. But this too, has been postponed since India restricted vaccine exports by the country itself an alarming increase in COVID-19.

As of April 20, Indonesia has transplanted just over 4 percent Its population, or 11.2 million, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data tracker, shows that its year-end target of 181.5 million is likely to drop significantly.

All of this has increased Indonesia’s short-term reliance on Chinese-made vaccines. In parliamentary commentary on April 8, Budi said the government has “embarked on a discussion with the Chinese government to request an additional 90 to 100 million [doses]. “

As a result, the Indonesian vaccine crisis created an opportunity for Beijing to enhance its interests with Jakarta, and forged its relatively warm relationship that marked Jokowi and Xi’s overlapping terms. According to a statement by China, the two leaders also agreed to “promote practical cooperation between the two countries in different fields and join forces with the Belt and Road Initiative with Indonesia’s Vision on the Threshold.” Global Maritime, aimed at creating greater scale and higher quality cooperation. “

Xi’s reported comments on “vaccine nationalism” and “vaccine division” also show the Chinese government’s desire to become the first provider of vaccines to the developing world. Development, and supply of its vaccines are “global public goods” as the media state has repeatedly declared. Beijing has now exported COVID-19 vaccine nearly 70 countries, and potentially creating a contrast between their own forthcoming attitudes and the “selfishness” of Western nations like the United States.

However, entanglement in this plan may be due to growing doubts about the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine – doubts already by Chinese officials themselves.

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