Gov’t to Speed up Vaccination Drive for Elderly
The Government has announced it continues to make efforts to boost COVID-19 vaccination rate for the elderly as an indicator to determine the level of public activity restrictions (PPKM).
“After [a bare minimum of] 50 percent vaccination rate for elderly is used as a condition of relaxed PPKM level, we will speed up the vaccination drive,” Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a press statement at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, Monday (22/11) after a limited meeting on the evaluation of public activity restrictions (PPKM)
According to Budi, elderly vaccination rate of the first dose has exceeded 50 percent in twelve provinces, including Banten, West Java, North Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, East Java, and North Kalimantan.
In the meantime, data from Ministry of Health on Tuesday (23/11) shows that out of the total target of administering COVID-19 vaccines to 21.55 million elders, vaccination rate of the first dose and second dose for the elderly has reached 51.08 percent and 32.10 percent respectively.
In addition, the national COVID-19 vaccination rate of the first dose has reached 65.16 percent of the target or around 135.72 million doses, while the second dose stood at 90.52 million doses of 43.46 percent out of the total target population of 208.27 million.
The Minister went on to say that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had ordered related ministries to accelerate national vaccination drive and reminded the public to maintain discipline in adhering to the health protocols particularly ahead of this year’s Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The President also warned about the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in European countries and called for intensifying genome sequencing testing to monitor virus mutation of domestic and imported cases.
On that occasion, Budi also confirmed that COVID-19 vaccine stocks in the regions is sufficient for national vaccination drive for the next one month.
“We have acquired 287 million doses of vaccines, in which 273 million (doses) were already distributed to regions, 225 million doses have been injected, leaving 50 million in stock. It is sufficient for the next one month,” he said, adding that Indonesia has also received vaccines supply from developed countries.
Considering the large amount of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines given from those countries, Budi called for information dissemination of those two types of vaccines to the public. The vaccines have a high efficacy, he added.
The Minister also stressed that the Government has been conducting a survey on COVID-19 antibody to find out infection and immunity rate of the people as a ground of policy decision making process on the handling of the pandemic.
The survey itself was conducted in 1,000 villages in thirty four provinces under a joint cooperation between Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, and epidemiologists from a number of universities.
“We hope the survey can be completed in December so the report can be available in the third or the fourth week of December. Such survey will be conducted twice a year so we can have a ground of policy decision making process in the future,” he remarked. (MAY/UN) (RAS/EP)