TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Commission of Child Protection asks the Health Ministry to accelerate Covid-19 vaccination for 6-11 years old children. It argues that the children in the age group are prone to the Coronavirus disease, so it is important to do the immunization.
“KPAI urges the Health Ministry to give vaccination for children aged 6-11, even though the ministry said that it could only be implemented in early 2022, following the vaccines availability in Indonesia. In addition, children in playgroup/kindergarten and elementary school are going back to school, while they have yet to receive the shots and their behavior are difficult to control,” said KPAI commissioner Retno Listyarti on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Retno is worried that the Ministry of Health's target to provide vaccines for children aged 6-11 years in 2022 will be delayed. This is because the achievement of vaccination for children aged 12-17 years is still low at 4.5 million from the target of 26 million children. "If the vaccination for children aged 12-17 years cannot be completed by December 2021, the vaccination program for children aged 6-11 years will be delayed," said Retno.
KPAI responds positively towards the emergency use authorization of Sinovac vaccine for children aged 6-11, issued by food and drug monitoring agency (BPOM). Retno said that the Covid-19 pandemic has a huge impact in children's development in terms of physiscal and mental health, as well as their education.
Indonesia is a country with a large number of children. In June 2021, when the infection rate in Indonesia was quite high, 2.9 percent of children aged 0-5 and 10 percent of children aged 6-18 were infected with the virus. Covid-19 vaccination for children is deemed to be able to reduce the risk.
M Rosseno Aji