Health Minister: Vaccination Rate to be Adjusted with Vaccine Supply
Date 5 April 2021
The rate of COVID-19 vaccination will be adjusted following the decrease in vaccine supply, according to Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
As of 4 April 2021, 12.7 million first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been injected.
With last week recording 10 million doses injected, it means there is an increase of 2.5 million vaccination injection per week.
“If we do not count countries that produce their own vaccines, as they have no problem with vaccine supply, we are number four in the world (in terms of vaccination). This is good to answer the skepticism of many international magazines about Indonesia, and I thank you because this is our mutual cooperation,” the Minister told the press after attending a limited meeting led by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Monday (05/04) at the Presidential Office in Jakarta.
The Minister added that the third wave of COVID-19 that currently occurs in several countries in Europe, Asia, and America has caused vaccine-manufacturing countries to embargo their vaccines and use them for domestic needs.
“As a result, it affects hundreds of countries, including Indonesia. Therefore, out of 30 million doses (of vaccine) that were supposed to be available in March and April, 15 million doses for each month, we can only obtain 20 million doses or two thirds,” he said.
The decrease in supply, the Minister pointed out, will influence the country’s vaccination rate.
“We will slightly adjust the vaccination rate, so the increase (in vaccination rate) will not be as much as before because the vaccine supply has declined,” he said.
The Minister went on to say that with limited supply, the Government has decided to prioritize this month’s vaccination based on risk of exposure.
Data from Ministry of Health show that senior citizens aged 60 and above have a high risk of COVID-19 exposure. Therefore, he added, this group will be one of the vaccination priorities.
“We have ordered vaccination of senior citizens first. If there is remaining supply, it will be allocated to teachers because the plan is indeed to vaccinate teachers until June, so in July we can gradually re-open (schools with limited in-class learning),” he said, adding that his Ministry has negotiated with manufacturers so that they can obtain normal vaccine supply.
“We are negotiating with vaccine manufacturers and vaccine-manufacturing countries. We hope in May, (the supply) can return to normal, so we can carry out vaccination with the previous rate that kept increasing,” he said.
The Minister further said that the implementation of micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM) by governments and ongoing vaccination are a good combination to control the rate of COVID-19 transmission.
“The momentum is great. With micro-scale PPKM, the number of cases decreased, the hospital admission decreased, the mortality rate decreased, and with vaccination program, they are a good combination. We must maintain it,” he remarked.
The Minister also reminded the public to remain disciplined in observing strict health protocols.
“Do not forget to always wear a mask, to wash hands, to maintain a safe distance, and I hope we can continue to control COVID-19 transmission,” he said. (TGH/UN) (DH/EP)