Govt seeking to vaccinate 57,630 elderly pilgrims in March

Govt seeking to vaccinate 57,630 elderly pilgrims in March

Secretary general of the Health Ministry, Oscar Primadi (standing second right), observed the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations to elderly pilgrims at Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Cikarang, Bekasi district, West Java on Friday (March 19, 2021). (ANTARA/Pradita Kurniawan Syah/sh)

It must be completed in March. We hope that our hajj pilgrims would be ready ahead of their departure, if (hajj pilgrimage) is conducted this year.
Cikarang, Bekasi, W Java (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is targeting to inoculate 57,630 senior citizens across Indonesia who have registered for hajj pilgrimage by the end of March this year.

“It must be completed in March. We hope that our hajj pilgrims would be ready ahead of their departure, if (hajj pilgrimage) is conducted this year,” secretary general of the Health Ministry, Oscar Primadi, said while observing a vaccination program for elderly pilgrims at Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Cikarang, Bekasi district, West Java on Friday.

The government is still awaiting confirmation from the Saudi Arabian authorities regarding the hajj pilgrimage in 2021, he informed.

The vaccination of hajj pilgrims, he said, is a preparatory move in case the pilgrimage is allowed this year.

All hajj pilgrims have undergone intensive health checks since last year, including receiving meningitis vaccinations, he added.

"They have been waiting for the hajj pilgrimage since last year, which was then delayed due to the pandemic," he said.

After elderly pilgrims, the COVID-19 vaccination would be provided to other hajj pilgrims registered for this year's batch.

The Health Ministry will wait for information from the Saudi Arabian government on the hajj quota for Indonesia, head of the ministry's Hajj Health Center, Eka Jusuf Singka, said.

"That is the main issue, whether Saudi Arabia will open the hajj pilgrimage. We are still waiting for the information while making preparations, including vaccination," he said, adding that hajj pilgrims should consistently observe health protocols. (INE)

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