Government wary of COVID-19 vaccine shortages amid embargo

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The government is being vigilant about a likely dearth of vaccine stocks amid COVID-19 cases spiraling in some nations that have compelled them to enforce a vaccine embargo, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated.

“Amid a spike in the number of (COVID-19) cases in some countries, including India, the vaccine embargo has been put in place. This may hinder vaccine supply in the next few months, especially those from countries imposing the embargo,” Sadikin notified the press after a limited meeting with President Joko Widodo at the Presidential Office here on Friday.

As many as 16 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived on Thursday (March 25), the sixth batch of vaccine delivery to the country, after the first consignment of 1.2 million doses was delivered on December 6; 1.8 million doses on December 31, 2020; 15 million doses on January 12; 10 million doses on February 2; and 10 million doses on March 2.

Indonesia has received 54 million doses of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine in total.

India recorded 47,262 new cases and 275 deaths on Wednesday (March 24), allegedly due to double mutation of the coronavirus.

“Hence, we have to be careful in regulating the rate of vaccine shots to avoid any vaccine shortage,” he remarked.

As of Friday, over 10 million people had received the COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia.

“Alhamdulillah (thank God), today, over 10 million people (would be vaccinated), with the daily rate of 500 thousand inoculations. Hence, by March and April, the inoculation rate will run in accordance with the vaccine stocks at 15 million doses per month,” he remarked.

According to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of Thursday (March 25), a total of 6,389,837 people had received the first dose of the vaccine, and 2,941,016 of them have already been administered the second dose.

“Some European countries have recorded an increasing trend in the number of new cases. We monitor the emergence of a new strain in Indonesia since January,” he remarked.

The minister has urged the public to continue to abide by the health protocols despite the vaccination.

“This is because we can still get infected, albeit not severe and may not require hospitalization. Vaccination will not free us from (COVID-19) transmission. However, with a better immune system, we can recover soon,” he stated.

Sadikin also urged senior citizens to partake in the vaccination program.

“Please help our parents, grandparents, and all of them above 60 years old to get vaccinated. All regional leaders and medical workers should focus on vaccination for the elderly to reduce the death rate,” Sadikin remarked.

 

Source: Antara News

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