Indonesia likely to tap private sector in Covid-19 vaccine rollout: Report

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 16:09
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INDONESIA has the infrastructure and experience to roll out Covid-19 jabs nationwide, analysts have said, while billing vaccine plans as good news for the country’s pharmaceutical sector.

Maybank Kim Eng analysts Aurellia Setiabudi and Willy Goutama were positive on the health authorities’ plan to vaccinate about two-thirds of the population, or 160 million people, from end-2020 onwards.

The vaccine from China’s Sinovac is expected to be the first on the market, through a production tie-up with state-owned Indonesian player Bio Farma.

But they added that Kalbe Farma is also tipped to benefit “through its extensive distribution network and expertise as a major pharmaceutical company”.

Calling Kalbe Farma “the proxy of Indonesia’s pharmaceutical sector”, the analysts noted that it has an ongoing partnership with South Korean biotech research firm Genexine, which is working on another potential vaccine candidate.

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Kalbe Farma “has strong logistical capabilities”, including 76 trading branches and a large in-country disposable syringe production facility, they added.

“It is highly likely the government will make use of Kalbe’s extensive network to distribute the vaccine across the country as it requires extra care.”

Overall, Maybank Kim Eng expects Bio Farma to supply some 228 million vaccines, with Kimia Farma the largest private-sector supplier at an estimated 60 million vaccines.

But, in issuing their “buy” call on Kalbe Farma, the analysts added that listed peers Kimia Farma and Indo Farma “are illiquid and have much smaller market capitalisation”.

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