Four million doses of Modern COVID-19 vaccine from the United States are headed to Indonesia, the U.S. national security adviser has informed the Indonesian foreign minister, while national battles record infections from coronavirus and forcing deaths an emergency lock starting Saturday.
In a call with Retno Marsudi on Friday, Jake Sullivan said the doses will be shipped via COVAX’s global vaccine-sharing program “as soon as possible,” a White House statement said.
Sullivan said the donation “underlined the support of the United States for the people of Indonesia while fighting a growth of COVID-19 cases.”
The two officials also discussed U.S. plans to increase assistance for COVID-19’s broader response efforts in Indonesia, the statement said.
“Sullivan highlighted the importance that the Biden-Harris administration places in Indonesia, Southeast Asia and ending the pandemic more widely and promised continued support and high-level engagement,” he said. said the statement.
The nation recorded nine record infections in eight of the past 12 days, including 25,830 new cases Friday, and a record 539 deaths.
In Jakarta province alone, Governor Anies Baswedan said on Friday at a press conference that active cases have already reached 78,000 from 27,000 in February.
Anies said that if the trend continues, active homes could reach 100,000 in a few days.
Since the pandemic last year, Indonesia has reported a total of 2228938 cases and 59,534 deaths.
The wave of new deaths and deaths has prompted President Joko Widodo to declare urgent restrictions on the movement from Saturday on the island of Java and Bali. The lockdown is effective until July 20th.
Completing vaccine diplomacy
Penny K Lukito, the head of Indonesia’s food and drug agency, said earlier Friday that she authorized the Modern vaccine for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the country’s health minister also announced Friday that Indonesia plans to vaccinate children under 18 with the released coronavirus mRNA developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the island of Java, which hosts about half of the more than 270 million people in the country, has been home to most of the outbreaks with the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19. The variant was first identified in India.
“She was healthy, her pregnancy was normal, and all of a sudden she’s gone.”
As Indonesia’s most populous island Java faces its biggest influx in 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 seen as 84 percent effective, even with the Delta variant, after two doses, but only 34 percent effective with a single dose, according to a report from US website NBC Boston.
Modern also announced Tuesday that its vaccine has shown promise against the Delta variant, based on a study conducted on blood serum by eight participants obtained a week after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
The company said the vaccine was much more effective in producing antibodies against the Delta variant than it was against the Beta variant previously identified in South Africa.
Indonesia relies mainly on vaccine from China’s Sinovac, but sought to diversify sources of supply.
Washington has been competing with Beijing to deepen the geopolitical burden because of so-called vaccine diplomacy, though it has said it will not share vaccines to secure favors or win concessions, but to save lives and end pandemic.
The Biden administration pledged last month to share an initial 80 million vaccines made in the United States around the world amid concerns over disparity in vaccination rates among advanced and developing countries .
It has already announced plans to supply vaccines to other Southeast Asian countries – Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.
He also said he will buy 500 million Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines to be distributed to the African Union and 92 countries at low and low incomes.