For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Unsplash/Mufid Majnun

Indonesia could start making its own mRNA vaccines after the World Health Organization picked it to receive a technology transfer to become Southeast Asia's Covid-19 vaccine hub.

State company PT Bio Farma will start producing mRNA doses, according to a statement from the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, which didn't name the brand. The company is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the region, with the capacity to produce 3.2 billion doses a year.

"It is the kind of solution that developing countries need, a solution that empowers, a solution that strengthens our self-reliance, a solution that allows us to contribute to global health resilience," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Twitter.

Indonesia has sought global support for years to make its own COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate its population, the fourth-largest in the world, and ship to neighboring countries. A lack of supply has led it to give out half-doses for its booster program to ensure it has enough for all 270 million of its people.

WHO is planning to set up tech transfer hubs across developing countries to help them produce mRNA vaccines. In South Africa, scientists backed by the organization made a Covid-19 vaccine candidate that matches the one by Moderna Inc.