Jakarta. Communications and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate announced over the weekend that more than 20 million teenagers in Indonesia have received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose as of December 3.
This means that Indonesia has accomplished 76.85 percent of its teen vaccination target. Of that number, 14.8 million teens or 55.5 percent are fully vaccinated.
“Even though we have surpassed 75 percent, the government continues to ramp up the teen vaccination drive to protect the teens from the Covid-19 threat. in line with this, teens and their parents must remind each other of the health protocols,” Johnny said in a statement on Saturday.
Vaccination is crucial to protecting teens from Covid-19, especially with schools now resuming in-person classes. The vaccine can also help lower risks of severe illness if one gets infected by the coronavirus.
Johnny encouraged parents to take their kids to the nearby vaccination clinics. And although Indonesia now has multiple vaccines, the government warned the public against being picky about the brands.
“All vaccines are the same and have gotten the emergency use authorization [EUA] from BPOM [the National Food and Drug Control Agency],” Johnny said.
As of December 3, 141.7 million Indonesians have received the first dose. About 98.2 million have completed their vaccinations, Johnny reported. The government pledged to ramp up the vaccination drive to reach the target of vaccinating 70 percent of its population by the end of 2021.
BPOM thus far has issued EUAs for 11 vaccine brands. The number of vaccines does not mean people can choose to be injected with a certain brand. But it must be seen as the government's strategy to secure the vaccine supply as soon as possible, prevent stock out, boost the vaccination drive, and achieve herd immunity immediately.
Johnny also reminded the public of the health protocols with the year-end holiday season just around the corner. This is necessary to keep the Covid-19 trend under control even during an increased mobility towards the end of the year.
“We cannot let another spike occur. Let us work together to maintain and improve discipline in implementing the health protocols. And get vaccinated immediately,” Johnny said.