Gov’t to Gradually Provide COVID-19 Vaccine; Medical Staff is First in Line
The Government has announced it will gradually give COVID-19 vaccine to the public.
“The first group to be vaccinated is medical staff in the upcoming one to three months. There are 1.3 millions of medical staff in 34 provinces who serve as the frontier in fighting against COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin delivers press at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, Tuesday (29/12).
On the second phase, the Government, he added, will give vaccine to 17.4 million public officers, followed by 21.5 million of senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The last group to be vaccinated is the general public, he added.
For senior citizens, according to Budi, further study must be conducted to ensure that the vaccine is safe for people over the age of 60 because Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine are being trialed in the clinical stages in Bandung only on people aged 18-59 years.
“Therefore, based on our discussion with the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), Sinovac vaccine will be given to targeted age group based on the result of clinical stages,” he said.
In the meantime, the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), he added, will collect all scientific data before making decision on targeted age group for vaccination. Upon approval from the BPOM, the Government will give vaccine to elderly, he said.
“The Government has procured vaccine for COVID-19 from four manufactures. Since most of it will arrive in Indonesia on the second quarter of 2021, vaccination for elderly is not conducted on the first phase to ensure that the BPOM gets all the scientific data needed before making decisions,” he said.
The Minister also noted that vaccination will proceed after the BPOM issue emergency use authorization, while expressing belief that the Agency can make an independent decision based on scientific data. (FID/UN) (RAS/EP)