Indonesia is rolling out a five-in-one vaccine that they plan to deliver in a single shot to every Indonesian child to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
The rollout is supported by the Australian Government through GAVI, the global vaccine alliance. The vaccine is manufactured by Bio Farma, who also hope to add rotavirus to the vaccines in the future.
Vaccines work best when they include an adjuvant, something that boosts your immune system’s reaction to the vaccine.
University of Melbourne researchers have recreated a fragment of a bacteria protein that activates white blood cells.
In 2012, they signed a research agreement with Bio Farma to help them turn their idea into a novel vaccine platform that could enhance vaccines for hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and other diseases.
Bio Farma was established in 1890 and is a state-owned business that provides all the vaccines on Indonesia’s immunisation schedule. That’s 1.7 billion doses a year.
Bio Farma is also a major supplier to UN agencies and global health initiatives, producing, for example, 1.4 billion doses of polio vaccines of which about 20 million doses are for Indonesian use.
The company is based in Bandung about 100 km east of Jakarta.