Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia received 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Australia via Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Tangerang district, Banten province, on Thursday (Sep. 2).
“Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah/God), this afternoon we again received 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine under a dose-sharing mechanism from the Australian government,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a press statement welcoming the vaccine.
This amount is the first delivery of 2.5 million doses of vaccine which will be provided by the Australian government to the Indonesian people through a bilateral mechanism in 2021.
“The Australian government has also been committed to giving support to Indonesia for the procurement of vaccines worth 77.1 million Australian dollars which will be channeled through UNICEF,” said Retno.
The cooperation on handling COVID-19, she added, is the result of intensive communications between the two governments.
“This vaccine cooperation support was one of the topics of my discussion with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne via phone calls several times, including the last one we did on July 7, 2021,” Retno pointed out.
“On behalf of the Indonesian government, I would like to thank the government and people of Australia for their supports and cooperation on handling COVID-19. Thank you, Australia,” she said.
In her press statement, Retno also told about plans for a meeting between the two governments in order to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership that has been agreed in 2018.
The foreign ministers and defense ministers of the two countries will hold a two plus two (2+2) meeting in the near future.
“In addition to the ministerial level, efforts to strengthen cooperation on handling COVID-19 are also very intensively made at the level of the highest leaders of the two countries,” Minister Retno said, adding that Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have regularly held telephone conversations, and lastly carried out June 24, 2021.
On the same occasion, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Penny Williams said that Australia was pleased to be working with Indonesia in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to be working together as our two countries confront the pandemic and begin their recovery from COVID-19. Australia is proud to stand with our neighbor Indonesia in these difficult times,” she said.
The arrival of 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Australia, the ambassador said, would be followed by the arrival of the next deliveries, with a total of 2.5 million doses.
“This vaccine is part of the 2.5 million doses of vaccine donation offered by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi when they spoke on July,” Ambassador Williams said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window