Indonesia and the United Kingdom are united in the push for providing affordable vaccines to all levels of the global community, including in remote areas, said British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste, Owen Jenkins.
He made the statement at a virtual press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
The ambassador said the joint desire of both countries was reflected in the Global Vaccine Summit, held by the vaccine alliance GAVI on Thursday (June 4, 2020).
“I am very pleased to say that the UK and Indonesia are united behind this approach — the desire for an affordable vaccine, which is accessible to everyone,” Jenkins stated.
The summit was attended by more than 60 ministers, and heads of state and governments, including Indonesia’s Minister of Health, Terawan Agus Putranto, who spoke in support of
affordable and accessible vaccines in his video message.
In his address, the minister said that reaching remote communities remains a challenge in the efforts to distribute vaccines, and that all parties involved must use every opportunity possible to protect people from the many diseases for which vaccines are already available.
“I believe that vaccines will continue to serve as a foundation for health and wellbeing for all. It is through solidarity, joint action, and tireless commitment to leaving no one behind that we can create a healthier future together,” he asserted.
Both Indonesia and the UK have sought a more vast reach for vaccines that are already available for various diseases, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine — which is still in the development phase — once it is available.
The health minister also affirmed that Indonesia is ready to contribute to scaling-up of production of COVID-19 antivirals and vaccines for global needs.
Responding to Minister Putranto’s video message at the summit, Ambassador Owen Jenkins expressed his appreciation of Indonesia’s support, saying that the representation from various countries, including Indonesia, shows that everyone knows that in this world of unprecedented challenge, unprecedented global cooperation is needed.
“Only by working through our shared institutions, the UN, the WHO, the G20, and others, can we deliver a strong response to the health crisis that we need. The world needs Indonesia to be involved in that, and it was fantastic that yesterday, the world heard Indonesia’s voice in this context,” he stated.
The GAVI Summit was held to raise funds to provide vaccines to 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries before the year 2025. The fundraising target was set at US$7.4 billion.
“The summit smashed its financial goals. It raised more than US$8.8 billion, that is Rp124 trillion, it was way above the goal,” Jenkins revealed.
He said the response to the fundraising rather than the quantum of funds raised was telling, as throughout the summit, the most repeated phrase was: no one is safe until everyone is safe.