Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto gives his press statement during the arrival of 8 million Sinovac vaccine bulk at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang on May 25, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Communication and Information Technology Ministry)

Gov't Hopes Vaccine Rollout Is On Target with Arrival of 8m Doses

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

MAY 27, 2021

Jakarta. The government hopes the Covid-19 vaccination drive is on target, as Indonesia welcomed another batch of Sinovac's bulk vaccine earlier this week.

On Tuesday, a new shipment of 8 million Sinovac vaccine bulk landed at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang. The shipment marked the thirteenth phase of vaccine arrival in the country.

In total, Indonesia has received 83.9 million doses, both in ready-to-use and bulk forms. State-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma is in charge of processing the bulk before distributing it to the public.

"The government will always keep watch on the vaccine supply to ensure the vaccination program is on target," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in a statement on Tuesday.

Airlangga reiterated the public should not hesitate to get a Covid-19 jab, as the government would ensure the vaccine’s safety, quality, and efficacy. 

The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has also evaluated the vaccines, in addition to deliberations by the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (Itagi), World Health Organization, and experts.

"President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo named the Covid-19 vaccination as a game changer. It is a crucial step to determine our success in ending the pandemic," the Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN) chair said.

As many as 181.5 million people —or 70 percent of the population— must get the Covid-19 shot to create herd immunity.

Indonesia has kicked off its vaccination campaign, with the first phase targeting health workers and the second phase for senior citizens and workers in services industries. If combined, the two phases comprise 40 million vaccine recipients. The vaccine administration, however, still stood at 25.2 million. 

About 1.4 million health workers have acquired both doses, while 1.5 million people have only received their first one. Meanwhile, 3.1 million senior citizens have gotten their first shot, whereas more than 2.1 million have taken the second one. Over 10.4 million public service officers have received the first dose, and 6.5 million people have gotten the second dose.

"We must accelerate the vaccination drive," Airlangga said.

According to Airlangga, Indonesia will soon begin the third phase of the vaccine rollout — this time, for vulnerable communities. The rollout will consider the geospatial aspect, including the severity of virus transmission or Covid-19 red zones and the socio-economic aspect.

In his statement, the minister applauded the self-funded vaccination campaign, which private firms first initiated via the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

The so-called "Gotong Royong" vaccination campaign enables companies to procure vaccines for their employees.

Since its initial launch on May 18, the Gotong Royong program has administered Sinopharm shots to 21,616 employees from 27 companies and 18 health facilities across Jakarta, West Java, Banten, Riau Islands, and Maluku.

Airlangga highlighted the fight against the pandemic takes a collaborative effort. The public must play their part by complying with health protocols while the government ramps up Covid-19 testing, tracing, and treatment.

The minister warned the public to keep their guard up following the Idul Fitri holidays to prevent second or even third coronavirus waves that are currently hitting other countries like India.

He also urged all parties to support the vaccination program. “Hence, we can curb the Covid-19 pandemic and restore the national economy,” Airlangga said.

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