Zone-based vaccine program to focus on high-risk clusters: ministry

Zone-based vaccine program to focus on high-risk clusters: ministry

Health Ministry spokesperson for the COVID-19 vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi. (ANTARA/HO)

So, we are considering the high-risk spatial clusters
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry disclosed that the spatial clustering of COVID-19 vaccination that President Joko Widodo recently directed would be carried out by prioritizing residents in high-risk areas.

"So, we are considering the high-risk spatial clusters," the Health Ministry's spokesperson for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, told ANTARA in Jakarta on Saturday.

Tarmizi emphasized that not all areas in a province would be covered by the spatial clustering exercise as health workers would solely focus on those at the highest risk of contracting a coronavirus infection.

In a province with 19 districts/cities, for instance, if there are only three administrative areas that are at the highest risk for COVID-19, the zone-based vaccination program will be directed only at the three districts/cities, she explained.

Residents in red zones (with severe infection risk) would automatically be prioritized to get vaccine jabs, Tarmizi said, adding that a final decision on the standard operating procedure for the zone-based vaccination program is yet to be made.

President Joko Widodo had said earlier that spatial clustering of COVID-19 vaccinations should be carried out to create “immediate” herd immunity in the country.

The Indonesian government has been battling the global pandemic since announcing the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

It has not only enforced restrictions on public activity in the Java and Bali Islands since January 11, 2021, but has also been conducting a nationwide vaccination program since January 13, 2021.

On January 26, 2021, Indonesia's COVID-19 cases crossed the one-million mark.

To reduce the country's COVID-19 infection rate, the Health Ministry has roped in the National Police and the Indonesian Defence Forces (TNI) to carry out vaccinations and contact-tracing at the grassroots level.

The National Police has been preparing 13,500 personnel from its health service division as vaccinators and 40,336 others as contact-tracers to support the national vaccination and contact-tracing program.

"Nine hundred of the 13,500 personnel have been trained to be vaccinators, while 12,600 others will receive the same training in the near future," National Police chief, Gen.Listyo Sigit Prabowo, said on February 11, 2021.

In addition, 40,336 police officers have been prepared for supporting the government's contact-tracing efforts at the grassroots level across the country to track down and find people potentially transmitting or infected with the disease.

"Some 40,336 police officers have been prepared as contact-tracers," he said while instructing police officers in the country to escort and secure 19.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have so far been distributed to health offices.

Prabowo also instructed his men to work closely with their counterparts from the Indonesian Defence Forces (TNI) and health workers to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission. (INE)

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