At least 1,263,578 East Nusa Tenggara residents have received the first COVID-19 shot, while 683,613 residents have received the second dose of the vaccine, the health office announced on Tuesday.
In terms of COVID-19 vaccine coverage, the first dose has been administered to 32.98 percent of the 3,831,439 targeted residents, head of the East Nusa Tenggara Health Office, Mese Ataupah, said.
“The COVID-19 vaccine coverage for the second dose still stands at 17 percent,” he said, adding that the percentage has remained lower than the national COVID-19 vaccine coverage.
The first and second dose recipients include medical personnel, public sector workers, vulnerable segments in communities, and teenagers, he informed.
However, local authorities are concerned by the fact that the number of elderly people and teenagers/students getting vaccinated in the province is still below the target, Ataupah said.
The provincial government is targeting to vaccinate 405,566 seniors, but so far, only 67,435 have received the first dose and 49,489 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he informed.
According to Ataupah, health issues, including high blood pressure, have become a hurdle in vaccinating the elderly population.
The COVID-19 vaccine coverage of students or teenagers in the province, which shares a land border with Timor Leste, has also remained low, he said.
Only 24,079 of the 582,844 targeted teenagers have taken the first shot and 14,093 others have taken their second dose, he added.
To cope with the low COVID-19 vaccine coverage, the East Nusa Tenggara administration is striving to intensify its vaccination program to build herd immunity in communities, Ataupah added.
The coronavirus outbreak was initially reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread to various parts of the world, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Indonesian government announced the country’s first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020. Since then, the central and regional governments have made persistent efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve by implementing healthcare protocols and public activity restrictions.
To break the chain of transmission of COVID-19, which has impacted the purchasing power of scores of families in Indonesia, the central government had also banned homebound travel, locally known as “mudik”, during the fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri holiday season last year and this year.
Source: Antara News