Indonesia is among the ASEAN member states to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the start of this year, with President Joko Widodo getting the first shot of the Sinovac vaccine on January 13, 2021, Hartarto noted.
“We hope the (vaccination) target can be achieved. At this moment, about 179 thousand people have been vaccinated,” he said here on Tuesday.
He said the first phase of the free COVID-19 vaccine program, which will last from January to April, 2021, will target 1.3 million medical workers, 17.4 million public service officers, and 21.5 million senior citizens.
The second phase of the program, which will be conducted from April, 2021 to March, 2022, will cover 63.9 million vulnerable people living in areas with the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission and another 77.4 million people.
Minister Hartarto said President Joko Widodo has ordered the accelerated inoculation of 77.4 million Indonesians, which was originally scheduled for January to March, 2022.
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“The government has set a schedule to move forward the vaccination of 77 million Indonesians, which had originally been planned to last from January to March next year,” he stated.
He said the government will continue to monitor the vaccination program, and at the same time, uphold discipline in following health protocols such as wearing masks, washing hands, and observing physical distancing.
In addition, the government will focus on reducing the COVID-19 fatality rate through tracing, testing, and treatment, in line with the availability of drugs and hospital beds, he added.
Ministers, public figures, officials, artists, traders, teachers, and workers received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on January 13, 2021, as the government officially launched its free vaccine program.
President Widodo was the first to receive a COVID jab, just 48 hours after the Indonesian food and drug monitoring agency authorized Sinovac’s vaccine for emergency use, based on the results of Phase Three clinical trials in Bandung and other scientific data.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has also issued a halal fatwa for vaccines used in the immunization program.
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