Indonesia Eyes to Start COVID-19 Vaccination for Children Age 6-11 in Early 2022

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • A health worker is holding two bottles containing the Covid-19 vaccine doses from Sinovac during a vaccination at Adam Malik Hospital, Medan City, North Sumatra, Tuesday, November 2, 2021. BPOM has officially issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Coronavac vaccine from Sinovac and vaccine from Bio Farma for vaccination for children aged 6 -11 years. ANTARA/FRANSISCO CAROLIO

    A health worker is holding two bottles containing the Covid-19 vaccine doses from Sinovac during a vaccination at Adam Malik Hospital, Medan City, North Sumatra, Tuesday, November 2, 2021. BPOM has officially issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Coronavac vaccine from Sinovac and vaccine from Bio Farma for vaccination for children aged 6 -11 years. ANTARA/FRANSISCO CAROLIO

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Health Ministry is targeting to kick-start the COVID-19 vaccination for children between the ages of 6 and 11 in early next year. “At the earliest, we will roll out vaccines for children age 6-11 in mid-January or early February 2022,” said the ministry’s spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Tuesday, November 30.

    At present, the government is pushing the target of the first dose of vaccination to reach 85 percent, and the second dose at 65 percent by the end of the year. To date, the coverage of the first dose of vaccination has hit 66.92 percent, while the second dose is at 45.85 percent. The number of vaccination targets, excluding children aged 6-11, amounted to 208 million people.

    After the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency or BPOM issues an emergency use authorization for the vaccination for children under the age of 12, the target number will increase by more than 20 million. “This will be a challenge in providing the vaccine.”

    BPOM has given the emergency permit to use China’s Sinovac vaccine for children over the age of 5 years on November 2, 2021. An epidemiologist from Australia’s Griffith University Dicky Budiman suggested that immunization for children under the age of 12 be realized after the COVID-19 vaccination coverage for the elderly group reached 40 percent.

    Dicky also asked the government to continue procuring vaccines so that the supply for children would be sufficient. “Prepare the stock of vaccines first and don't use existing vaccines for children,” he said.

    Read: Jakarta Prepares to Vaccinate Children Age 6 to 11

    IMAM HAMDI