Some 3,700 army personnel in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara were administered their first shots of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday.
The recipients from the 161/Wirasakti Military Resort Command were administered the vaccine in Kupang City and in the districts of Timur Tengah Utara and Belu.
The AstraZeneca vaccine’s efficacy is similar to that of China’s Sinovac, Chief of the 161/Wirasakti Healthcare Detachment Lt Col Agus Saktiadi stated here on Saturday.
However, the recommended time gap to be kept between the first and second dose of the two vaccines differ, according to Saktiadi.
Recipients of this Oxford University-AstraZeneca-made vaccine are required to get the second shots 28 days after obtaining their first shots.
Those receiving the first shots of the Sinovac vaccine are required to wait for 14 days before being allowed to receive the second jab, Saktiadi explained.
“Despite the difference in time intervals between the first and second shots, the two vaccines are secure and ‘halal’ (lawfully-permitted for Muslims),” he stated.
Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since the government officially announced the country’s first cases on March 2, 2020.
The government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program since January 13 this year to stem the spread of the disease.
The Health Ministry estimates a time period of 15 months to vaccinate some 181.5 million people under the national program.
“We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January 2021 to March 2022,” the Health Ministry’s spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated recently.
During the period, the government is targeting to inoculate some 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she informed.
Tarmizi noted that the first phase of the government’s immunization program is divided into two periods: January-April, 2021 and April 2021-March 2022.
Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto has affirmed that all TNI personnel will participate in this vaccination program.
Indonesia’s COVID-19 infection rate crossed one million cases on January 26, 2021.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease has dragged Indonesia into serious public health and economic crises.
Source: Antara News