In a bid to meet vaccine demand, the Government on Thursday (2/9) has received another 500 thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, via Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten Province.
“Alhamdulillah, this afternoon we receive 500 thousand doses of dose-sharing AstraZeneca vaccine from the Australian Government,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi said during a press conference on the arrival of the vaccine.
It is the first batch of 2.5 million doses of vaccine that will be provided by the Australian Government for Indonesian people through bilateral mechanism in 2021.
“The Australian Government has also committed to provide support for vaccine procurement for Indonesia worth A$77.1 million that will be channeled through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),” Retno said.
The Minister went on to say that the cooperation in COVID-19 handling is the result of intensive communication carried out by the Indonesian Government and the Australian Government.
“The support for vaccine cooperation is one of topics discussed in every phone call with Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, including the last one on 7 July 2021,” she said.
The Minister also expressed her appreciation for the support that has been given by the Australian Government.
“On behalf of the Indonesian Government, I’d like to extend our appreciation to the Australian Government and the Australian people for their cooperation in handling COVID-19. We thank you, Australia,” she said.
On that occasion, Retno also revealed a plan to hold a two plus two (2+2) meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense from both countries in the near future to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership that has been agreed by Indonesia and Australia in 2018.
“In addition to the ministerial level, the cooperation in handling COVID-19 is also intensively carried out by the highest leadership level of the two countries. President Jokowi and the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison regularly hold telephone conversation to strengthen the cooperation, the last one was taken place on 24 June 2021,” she said.
On the same occasion, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Penny Williams said that Australia is pleased to work with Indonesia in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to work together when our countries handle and begin to recover from COVID-19. Australia is proud to stand with our neighbor country, Indonesia, in these difficult times,” Penny said.
According to her, the arrival of 500 thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Australia will be followed by the arrival of the next batch with a total of 2.5 million doses.
“The vaccine arrived was part of the 2.5 million doses of vaccine donation offered by the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne to Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi when they spoke this July,” she added. (SLN/UN) (RIF/MMB)
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