Health Minister: 10 Million Doses of Vaccine Have Been Injected in Indonesia
As of Friday (26/03), Indonesia has injected over 10 million first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
“Our vaccination rate is currently 500,000 jabs per day and we have surpassed 10 million jabs last Friday. With this achievement, Indonesia is one of the top four countries in the world that are not vaccine manufacturers but have the highest vaccination rate,” he said, adding that Indonesia is just below Germany, Turkey, and Brazil and has topped Israel and France.
Budi added that COVID-19 vaccine has become a geopolitical issue that is fought for by countries around the world, which is why the available vaccines are the best vaccines to use.
According to the Minister, the Government has to use different brands of COVID-19 vaccine meet the vaccine needs for all target population and none of the world’s vaccine manufacturers can fulfill all demands of big countries, including Indonesia.
“Indonesia is lucky because we have cooperated with four vaccine manufacturers, namely Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Pfizer. Vaccine availability is crucial in successfully carrying out the Government’s vaccination programs,” he said.
The Minister also stated that a number of countries in Europe and Asia currently experience a spike in COVID-19 cases due to a new mutated virus, which has also entered Indonesia since the beginning of the year, and high mobility.
“Regarding the spike in COVID-19 cases in several countries, let me remind you that although we have accelerated vaccination, we must be careful to manage the vaccination rate due to potential embargo from vaccine-manufacturing countries that have seen a spike in cases,” he said.
Budi went on to say that the spike in cases in other countries also serves as a reminder to always remain vigilant by restricting mobility and observing health protocols, especially since the new mutated COVID-19 virus spreads rapidly.
“Avoid traveling, at least until the pandemic is completely under control. If there is a spike in cases, our health care workers will be exhausted,” he remarked.
Furthermore, the Minister urged the public to participate in disseminating the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, especially to senior citizens aged 60 and above, adding that as the second priority group, their participation is law although they are the most vulnerable compared to other priority groups because they easily fall ill and have a high mortality rate.
“Let us strive together to encourage senior citizens to be vaccinated so that we can protect our elders. The faster the vaccination, the faster we achieve herd immunity,” he said.
The Minister also urged the public not to worry to be vaccinated when their turn comes as the Government prioritizes safe and effective vaccine to be used by everyone based on the recommendation of experts.
“Vaccines have much more benefits than the risks they carry. When it is time for vaccination, do not hesitate. Whatever the vaccine type, it is safe and useful to improve our immunity. For those who have been vaccinated, do not forget to remain observing 3M health protocols (wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining a safe distance) until we have truly achieved herd immunity and become free from the pandemic,” he said. (PR of Ministry of Health/UN) (DH/EP)