TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The success of the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia will raise public confidence and curb coronavirus mortality rate, stated an epidemiologist.
"The government should prove that the first phase of vaccination will be successful. The success will raise public confidence that the government is able to conduct mass vaccination properly," said dr. Syahrizal Syarif of University of Indonesia (UI) on Saturday.
He spoke of the first phase of the country's COVID-19 immunization plan that will cover medical workers, public service officers and elderly citizens.
The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination expected to roll out from January to April 2021 will see about 1.3 million health workers, 17.4 million public service officers and 21.5 million elderly people.
The second phase of the vaccination will be conducted from April to May 2021.
As part of efforts to reduce transmission and mortality rates Syahrizal highlighted the significance of vaccinating right groups particularly medical workers as front liners in the battle against the COVID-19
He also praised the government's plan to prioritize elderly citizens for the vaccination.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said earlier it will take 3.5 years for the country to vaccinate 181 million Indonesian citizens in order to achieve herd immunity against the COVID-19.
The government has begun listing the first stage recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine after millions of doses from Sinovac arrived in Indonesia recently, spokesperson for vaccine-related affairs at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said.
"There are several preparations that we are doing, one of which is [obtaining] the target data. We will start with [releasing] educational content via SMS (short message service) on December 31, 2020," Nadia said when contacted by Antara from Jakarta on Saturday.