Vaccination to be prioritized for workers in 18-59 age bracket

Vaccination to be prioritized for workers in 18-59 age bracket

Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto. photo: ANTARA/Dewa Wiguna

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto echoed the government's plan to additionally prioritize administration of the COVID-19 vaccine for workers in the age group of 18 to 59 years apart from healthcare workers.

"Priority will be given to frontline healthcare workers for administering vaccines. Next, vaccination will also be given to people in the high-risk category, specifically workers in the age group of 18 to 59 years," Putranto noted in a statement here on Thursday.

The minister made the statement at a coordinating meeting held to discuss preparations for the vaccination program led by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Wednesday (Sept 30).

The minister estimated that the country will require some 320 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine supplies are being readied through cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of State Enterprises (BUMN), National Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM), and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Deputy Minister of BUMN Budi Gunadi Sadikin expounded that the ministry’s vaccine storage capacity had currently reached 123 million doses.

Hence, several state enterprises, including Bio Farma and Kimia Farma, as the medicine producers, are establishing cooperation to procure a Cold Chain Equipment Inventory that can store up to 300 million doses of vaccines.

The cold chain procurement is being readied for the arrival of vaccines from various countries that have pledged to help Indonesia in procuring these vaccines.

On the same occasion, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi expounded that various discussions pertaining to the commitment to provide vaccines for Indonesia had been held with related countries, such as China, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

"We have been communicating regularly with China, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK to provide vaccines for Indonesia. We have also arranged a time for the international meetings to review further clinical trials and vaccine production that will be sent to Indonesia," she stated.

Supplies for the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines will be imported from China.

Meanwhile, head of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, concurrently the BNPB head, Doni Monardo urged the BPOM to coordinate with the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) for ensuring halal certification for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"After checking the halal requisites, the BPOM can coordinate with MUI to provide the halal certification," he said.

To prepare a vaccination program to be implemented soon, the Ministry of Health has compiled several steps for the readiness of health facilities in Indonesia.

Since Monday (Sept 28), training has been conducted for health workers on the procedures for this COVID-19 vaccination.

Moreover, two community health centers (Puskesmas) have been prepared to conduct vaccination simulation: the Abiansemal Puskesmas in Badung District, Denpasar and the Tanah Sereal Puskesmas in Bogor City, West Java.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, concurrently deputy chair of the Policy Committee for COVID-19 Response and National Economic Recovery, urged the health minister, foreign affairs minister, BPOM head, BNPB head, and deputy minister of BUMN to ensure sound coordination as part of the preparations for conducting vaccination. Related news: Network of Epistemic Community: New hope for the future
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