Govt to conduct COVID-19 vaccine program in two phases

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Indonesian government will carry out the COVID-19 vaccination program in two phases, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin informed at an online press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The first phase will last from January to April, 2021, and the second from April, 2021 to March, 2022, he said adding, health workers, public service workers, and the elderly will be prioritized in the first phase of the program.

“The first stage of vaccination for health workers in Indonesia is [going to cover] 1.3 million people. The second stage is given to about 17.4 million public officers, then 22.5 million elderly people over 60 years,” Sadikin said.

The priority status for frontline health workers is in line with what is being done in other countries, he added.

Furthermore, in the second phase of the program, vaccinations will be provided to 63.9 million vulnerable people in areas with a high risk of transmission and 77.4 million persons from other communities, using a cluster approach, depending on the availability of vaccines, the minister informed.

Sadikin said the government consulted the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), an independent agency, while mapping out the vaccination plan. The agency was tasked with providing recommendations to the Ministry of Health.

Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, had earlier assured regional readiness for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The central government has continued to work in coordination with local governments to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process runs well,” Adisasmito noted in a statement issued here on Saturday.

The distribution of the vaccines will be conducted stage-wise, with priority accorded to regions with high transmission rates and dense populations, he informed.

The results of the clinical testing of the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech will be submitted to the Agency of Food and Drug Control (BPOM) before it issues an emergency-use authorization (EUA), Adisasmito said.

Padjajaran University and PT Bio Farma have conducted clinical tests to determine safe dosages and likely side-effects of the Sinovac vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology is also developing the Red and White vaccine, for which a distribution license is expected to be obtained in 2021 following pre-clinical and clinical tests, Adisasmito said.

“The Red and White vaccine will be handed over from the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology to PT Bio Farma in the first quarter of 2021,” he informed.

The government has continued to disseminate information to the public on the importance of getting vaccinated against the novel coronavirus disease to build herd immunity.

“The government has also ensured that the vaccine is safe with minimum side-effects and halal certification,” Adisasmito noted.

Local governments have instructed the authorities to impose sanctions on people refusing to get vaccinated, he added. (INE)


Source: Antara News

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