Indonesian Encourages Acceleration of Global Vaccination against Omicron Variants

Jakarta, MINA – The Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, reiterated the importance of accelerating global vaccination to meet World Health Organization (WHO) targets, especially anticipating a new variant, Omicron.

“We only have less than
four weeks to the end of the year, and now we have a new variant, the Omicron.” said the Foreign Minister in the 7th COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group (AMC EG) virtual meeting on Monday.

Foreign Minister Retno chaired the 7th COVAX AMC EG virtual meeting with Ethiopian Health Minister Lia Tadesse and Canadian Minister for International Development Harjit Sajjan.

“This reminds us of the dangers of delaying vaccine equivalence, and the importance of increasing efforts to quickly achieve vaccine equality for all.” She added.

At the last COVAX AMC EG meeting in 2021, the Indonesian Foreign Minister led 2 meeting sessions discussing the development of the Omicron variant, and the achievements and challenges faced by COVAX in the past year.

Regarding the development of Omicron, representatives from WHO said that this new variant was reported to have been detected in 45 countries. Although the majority of cases are from those who have returned from travel, there are some countries that have experienced local transmission and local clusters have started to form.

Until now, WHO has not received any reports of deaths due to the Omicron variant.

From the currently available data, it is still not possible to conclude whether the Omicron variant is more infectious or has a more severe impact than the Delta variant.

While waiting for further research on this new variant, countries are encouraged to continue to take anticipatory steps through strict health protocols, increased testing and tracing, and accelerated vaccination.

Regarding the achievements and challenges faced by COVAX, the COVAX Secretariat has conveyed various developments related to fundraising, vaccine distribution, and increasing vaccine absorption capacity in various countries.

COVAX has now raised USD 10.9 billion, exceeding the original target of USD 9.3 billion. As for the distribution of vaccines, of the total target of 950 million doses for 2021, COVAX has distributed 611 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to 144 countries.

This condition is expected to improve in 2022, with more vaccine supplies available. As of December 6, 2021, Indonesia has received 45,224,550 doses of vaccine from the COVAX Facility.

COVAX AMC EG is a communication forum between COVAX and 92 AMC countries to discuss efforts to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. Through this scheme, AMC countries can obtain vaccines for up to 20 percent of their population. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)