Time for ASEAN to Mass-Produce Covid19 Vaccine

Time for ASEAN to Mass-Produce Covid19 Vaccine

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should lead in the mass production of vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Asian Development Bank’s principal health specialist said Tuesday.  "Rather than compete for a limited supply, let us increase the vaccine supply. Asean has the manufacturing expertise. It is time for Asean to make such a call," said ADB's Dr. Eduardo Banzon during Asean Media Forum held online (24/11/2020).

Dr. Eduardo Banzon highlighted that ASEAN member-states have the capability to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccines once these are made available. He mentioned Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. He said it is quite unfortunate that countries are fighting to acquire stocks of the vaccine but this is expected as a natural behavior.

Asean member-states are part of COVAX, a global initiative of 172 countries aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines through advance purchase arrangements. Among those that will receive subsidy by COVAX are the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Vietnam. While Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore are helping finance the initiative that aims to procure an initial 2 billion doses amid reports that rich countries have already snapped up over half of the total potential COVID-19 vaccine supply. 

“Rather than compete with the world for the limited supply, one way to frame it is let’s build the supply up. And we already know that ASEAN is capable of manufacturing. So is there a way for ASEAN to facilitate, these countries to help manufacture more vaccines for the world and hopefully that additional doses could be made available to ASEAN,” Dr. Banzon said.

“Globally we should sit down, ASEAN should call for it so that more supply, more vaccines should be produced. ASEAN has been very good at that. ASEAN should sort of call for it,” he added.

“The Europeans actually pooled their money. The way the Europeans did the advance payment for the vaccines, they did not do it as individual countries with the exception of UK (United Kingdown), the EU actually…sort of assembled themselves into an alliance and then they went jointly for advanced purchase commitment,” he said.

Under the COVAX initiative, countries eligible for subsidies can get doses equivalent to up to 20 percent of their population. Dr. Banzon  added that ASEAN should also consider setting up an Asean center for emerging infectious diseases as well as a medical reserve fund.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
Dr. Eduardo Banzon (by


"This will hasten sharing of surveillance data and best practices from the member-countries. Having something similar to a CDC (Center for Disease Control) will ensure we can rapidly bring in a regional response," he said.

Vietnam Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dzung, for his part, said member-states must help each other for the region to bounce back from the economic slump caused by the pandemic. "A cohesive and responsive Asean can rise above the challenges we are facing now and allow us to sustainably recover from the impact of COVID-19 and sustain growth," he said.


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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