Indonesia has been carrying out a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program since January 13, 2021 and it has been running smoothly, with no complaints reported against China’s Sinovac vaccine so far.
President Joko Widodo has received two vaccine doses on January 13 and January 27, 2021, without any adverse reaction.
So far, 1,017,186 Indonesian healthcare workers out of the targeted 1,468,764 have received COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to data provided by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force on February 11, 2021.
Of the 1,017,186 healthcare workers who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 345,605 have been administered their second dose, too, it stated.
The government has set a target of inoculating 181,554,464 people, or 70 percent of the total population of Indonesia, with the aim of building herd immunity against the coronavirus.
Medical workers fighting on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19 have been accorded priority in the vaccine program. The next targets of the vaccination program are public service officers, including police and military personnel. State-owned vaccine manufacturer PT Bio Farma (Persero) has confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines will be allocated for public service officers, including the Indonesian military and police, at the end of February this year.
Each person covered by the vaccine program will require to be administered two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This means that Indonesia will need 362 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate 181 million people.
Up until now, the country has received 28 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine and vaccine candidate from Sinovac.
Indonesia has ordered the COVID-19 vaccine from various sources: 125 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd; 100 million doses from US-Canada’s Novavax; 100 million doses from British AstraZeneca; 100 million doses from Germany-US Pfizer vaccine; and, 16-100 million doses of free vaccines from the GAVI COVAX Facility, as part of a multilateral cooperation coordinated by the WHO.
In addition, the nation is also developing its indigenous vaccine, named Red and White after the national flag.
The government has also formulated strategies to step up COVID-19 handling by launching a massive campaign on health protocols, developing a central isolation facility, accelerating the vaccination program, and limiting mobility.
“We have to improve the strategy on COVID-19 handling to increase public discipline,” Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, deputy chief of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPC-PEN) and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, said during a recent online discussion here.
The government has three primary targets in the fight against COVID-19: reduce daily cases, lower mortality rate, and increase recovery rate.
To speed up the vaccination program, the Ministry of Health is collaborating with the TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces) and Polri (Indonesian Police) to implement its dual strategy of carrying out vaccinations and contact-tracing to win the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first strategy is surveillance. How we know where the enemy is and where they are moving. In the past, they tracked them using interrogation techniques, but now, they employ testing and tracing techniques,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.
Based on the Health Ministry’s computation, 30 tracers per 100 thousand people are required for the contact-tracing process, and they need to be deployed in every village. This means Indonesia needs 80 thousand tracers to meet its target of vaccinating around 181 million people.
“For Indonesia’s population, approximately 80 thousand tracers are required across all villages. We do not have such apparatus, and only the Police and the TNI have it,” Sadikin pointed out. The second strategy to win the war against the COVID-19 pandemic is immunization, he said.
“If Mr. President asks (that the vaccination program be completed in) one year, then it means that in one day, we will have to inject one million (people). In that case, it will be impossible for us to do it on our own. Once again, this is a war, and we have to kill the enemy, for which we need assistance from the police and TNI (military) officers,” the minister stated.
The Indonesian National Police has affirmed the readiness of trained police personnel to be deployed as COVID-19 vaccinators and tracers.
At present, the National Police has prepared 13,500 health personnel. Of the total, 900 people have been trained as vaccinators by the Health Ministry.
“Some 12,600 other personnel will be offered similar training in the near future,” National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, stated.
Further, about 40 thousand police personnel will be deployed as tracers throughout the region, Prabowo remarked.
“As an early detection step, the National Police has also readied 40,336 personnel of the Bhabinkatibmas (community police officers) in all regions to serve as tracers as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus,” the National Police chief stated.
He also instructed his men to work closely with their counterparts from the Indonesian Defence Forces (TNI) and health workers to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
As of February 12, 2021, Indonesia has recorded a total of 1,201,859 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,004,117 recoveries, and 32,656 deaths. (INE)
Source: Antara News