Indonesia is in talks with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as six drug companies to become a global hub for manufacturing vaccines, according to its health minister.
Detailing the ambitious strategy for the first time, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health of Indonesia, said in an interview that Indonesia would kickstart the initiative by prioritizing purchases of COVID-19 vaccines from companies that shared technology and set up facilities in Indonesia.
"We are working with the WHO to be one of the global manufacturing hubs for mRNA," he said, adding he had directly lobbied WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on a trip earlier this month to Europe.
The new "technology transfer hubs" are part of a WHO strategy to more widely distribute vaccine production globally and build capacity in developing countries to make new generation vaccines like Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer's (PFE.N) nucleic acid-based mRNA jabs which can be quickly adapted to handle new virus variants.
A WHO spokesperson said Indonesia was one of 25 low and middle-income countries to express interest in hosting a vaccine hub but declined to say if it was a leading candidate.
photo taken by 'Antara Foto'