Eye on herd immunity, govt aims to inoculate 181.5 million



Jakarta The Indonesian government is targeting to inoculate 181.5 million people against COVID-19 in order to create herd immunity, a Health Ministry spokesperson has said.

“Herd immunity will be achieved if the efficacy of the vaccine is a minimum of 50 percent or 60 percent. Thus, the vaccine coverage must be 100 percent,” director of communicable diseases prevention and control at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said during an online discussion here on Friday.

To achieve this end, the government has taken several steps, including setting a target of vaccinating 181.5 million out of the country’s 271 million population against COVID-19.

Indonesia has also secured several types of COVID-19 vaccines, both locally made and imported.

The vaccine used in the country must have at least 60 percent efficacy, or higher than the WHO-set 50 percent efficacy requirement, Siti Nadia observed.

“The (vaccine) coverage to achieve herd immunity must be 100 percent; so the target of vaccinating 181.5 million people must be 100 percent achieved by the end of 2021,” she remarked.

With regard to prioritizing recipients of the coronavirus vaccine, Siti Nadia, who is also one of the spokespersons for the COVID-19 vaccination program, said she will refer to epidemiological data, a study by the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), as well as WHO recommendations.

Looking ahead, the government will look at what recommendations the world body issues if the vaccine stock of a country is less than 10 percent, she said.

“If vaccine stock is very limited, (the vaccination program) will give priority to front-liners,” she added.

The next on the priority list will be patients with comorbidities, social figures, religious figures, and health cadres since they serve the people at large, she said.

If the vaccine stock is more than 50 percent, the vaccination will be given to citizens aged between 18 and 59 years, she added.

More than 132 thousand medical workers from 13,535 health facilities in 92 districts/cities of 34 provinces in Indonesia have received COVID-19 shots so far, she had said during a press briefing earlier.

“From January 14 (2021) to Friday (January 22) at 1 p.m., more than 132 thousand, or 22 percent of 598,483 medical workers who have been registered for this first phase vaccination program, have received the COVID-19 jabs,” she said.

Siti Nadia said if all 598,483 medical workers are vaccinated, another 888,282 paramedics will be inoculated as part of the second phase of the program.

“As we have previously targeted, some 1.4 million medical workers will have to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine by February,” she said, adding that about 20,154 paramedics could not be inoculated because of several reasons.

Several of them reportedly contracted COVID-19, while several others had comorbidities or were pregnant, she elaborated.

The Health Ministry revealed earlier that it would take 15 months to vaccinate about 181.5 million people under the national COVID-19 vaccination program.

“We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time-frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January, 2021 to March, 2022,” Siti Nadia stated.

During the period, the government is targeting to inoculate about 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she informed.

Tarmizi said the first phase of the government’s immunization program will be further divided into two stages: January-April, 2021 and April, 2021-March, 2022. (INE)




Source: Antara News



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