Indonesia Targets to Begin Covid-19 Vaccination for its People in April

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  • A medical worker prepares a dose of the Sinovac's vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before giving it to a doctor at a district health facility in Jakarta, January 19, 2021.  Indonesia plans to start giving the general public COVID-19 vaccinations sometime between late April to May, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    A medical worker prepares a dose of the Sinovac's vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before giving it to a doctor at a district health facility in Jakarta, January 19, 2021. Indonesia plans to start giving the general public COVID-19 vaccinations sometime between late April to May, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Indonesian Health Ministry targets the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination for the general public to start in April, or around one or 1.5 months after the inoculation to the health workers and public service officials.

    "Hopefully, at the end of or mid-April, we can start the vaccination for all Indonesian citizens," said Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin in an online conference on Saturday, January 30.

    Budi said the Covid-19 vaccination program is urged to be done as soon as possible by injecting as many people since no one knows how long will the immunity of the vaccine last.

    "Because no vaccine producer has completed the third clinical trial; either it’s Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac," Budi said. But due to the emergency situation, many countries around the globe, including Indonesia, issued the emergency use of authorization.

    Through the conservative approach, the Indonesian government estimates that the Sinovac vaccine will last 12 months, calculated since its initial use.

    "We conservatively take the 12-month period. Therefore, hopefully, 70 percent of the people targeted for the vaccination can be injected within 12 months,” Budi Gunadi said.

    From the total of 270 million Indonesians, the vaccination will be injected into 70 percent of the people, or around 188 million. Since each individual will get two shots, the government will need 363 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Read: Jakarta Eyes to Complete Covid-19 Vaccination Phase 1 in February 2021

    Egi Adyatama