South Sumatra to accelerate vaccination of senior citizens


South Sumatra is continuing to expedite COVID-19 vaccination for the elderly to boost coverage among members of the target group.

“We continue to strive to expedite COVID-19 vaccination activities for the elderly community since the realization or rate as per October 2021 is still low,” Head of the South Sumatra Health Office Lesty Nuraini noted in Palembang on Monday.

According to the Health Office data, some 720,076 elderly people in South Sumatra were targeted for the COVID-19 vaccination.

The first dose of vaccination was only administered to 22 percent of the targeted elderly populace, while the second dose of vaccination only covered 16 percent of the target.

Head of the Health Office compelled the public to help the unvaccinated elderly people by facilitating them, so they can access vaccination services.

“People, who have family members that belong to the elderly group and have so far not been vaccinated against COVID-19, are expected to immediately bring or accompany them to the nearest public health centers or mass vaccination service centers,” she noted.

Nuraini pointed out that the Health Office was striving to boost vaccination coverage for all target groups, with the aim of completing COVID-19 vaccination for 6.3 million citizens by early 2022.

A member of Committee V of the Regional House of Representatives of South Sumatra Province, Syaiful Padli, opined that it would be difficult to inoculate 6.3 million people by then, given only 34 percent of the populace had been vaccinated as of October 2021.

He called for the provincial Health Office as well as 17 districts and cities in South Sumatra to put in hard work to achieve the complete vaccination rate.

Some challenges still exist in the vaccination of the elderly. Apart from accessibility, it is also the belief that vaccines can trigger comorbidities, as spokesperson for COVID-19 Vaccinations at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, had elaborated.

Tarmizi noted that vaccinations among the elderly are still an issue that should be addressed immediately. Currently, only 7.8 million people have received the first vaccination dose and only 4.9 million people have been administered the second dose of the total 21.5 million elderly people in Indonesia targeted under the vaccination program.

The central government confirmed that it is working to increase vaccination coverage among Indonesians. Initially, it was aiming for a 70-percent vaccination rate, but it has since been pushed to 80 percent and should be met by the end of 2021.


Source: Antara News