Second phase of COVID-19 vaccination to be completed in June

Second phase of COVID-19 vaccination to be completed in June

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, accompanied by East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, reviewed the implementation of the vaccination program for the elderly in Surabaya on Saturday (February 27, 2021). (ANTARA / Willy Irawan)

Surabaya (ANTARA) - Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said his ministry is targeting to complete the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program for public service workers and the elderly by June, 2021.


"There are 38 million (people) targeted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or as many as 76 million injections (need to be administered),” the minister said while monitoring the vaccination of the elderly in Surabaya on Saturday.


Of the 38 million people targeted by the second phase of the vaccination program, 21 million are elderly and 16 million are public servants, Sadikin revealed


"The vaccines are limited, for that it (the program) must be done in stages. This week, only 150 thousand (people) have been vaccinated," he explained.


Vaccination for the elderly is being prioritized because they are at high risk, the minister said.


In Surabaya on Saturday, Budi lauded the East Java provincial government and the Samator Group for implementing the COVID-19 vaccination program for the elderly.


"We thank the Governor of East Java, Khofifah Indar Parawansa, and Mr. Arif from Samator for gathering their seniors in Surabaya to be vaccinated. Hopefully, other areas that have the resources and access can invite the elderly to be vaccinated," the minister remarked.


Meanwhile, Liem Giok Tien (70), a local resident, said she felt safer after receiving the vaccine.


"I saw President Joko Widodo on TV and that he dared to be vaccinated. He set an example for the Indonesian people. So I am being brave because President Joko Widodo set an example. After being vaccinated, I feel more comfortable and safe," Liem remarked.


According to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, the Indonesian government is seeking to expand the scope of its COVID-19 vaccination program to ensure ease of access to the vaccine, especially for senior citizens.


“At the moment, vaccination spots for senior citizens are located in a number of major cities and districts. The government will continue to widen the scope in order to ensure that senior citizens can have access to vaccination in reachable areas,” Wiku Adisasmito said during a press conference originating from Jakarta on Thursday.


The Health Ministry and health facilities will continue to improve vaccination queue systems to ensure easier access to the vaccine for the elderly and to prevent crowding at vaccination spots, he added. 

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