Health Ministry expands immunization program to offer 14 vaccines

Health Ministry expands  immunization program to offer 14 vaccines

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin during a webinar on the World Immunization Week 2021. ANTARA/screenshot of Health Ministry's YouTube account/sh

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry intends to expand its national immunization program, under the strategic plan of health reform, with the inclusion of three other vaccines, in a bid to lower the maternal and child mortality rates.

"This is because one target in our medium-term development plan (RPJMN) is reducing the maternal and child mortality rates, and we know that many newborn babies have died of diarrhea and pneumonia," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated during a webinar on World Immunization Week 2021 here on Saturday.

The ministry has tweaked the concept of basic immunization into routine immunization, comprising basic immunization and advanced immunization, he revealed.

Health facilities have earlier administered 11 vaccines to children in the national immunization program, and in 2022, the program will include three other vaccines: PCV, HPV and rotavirus.

PCV, or pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, is given to safeguard infants, young children, and adults from the disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, including meningitis and pneumonia.

HPV, or human papillomavirus vaccines, are vaccines that prevent infection by certain types of human papillomavirus that cause the greatest risk of cervical cancer. HPV is important to be given in early age.

The Rotavirus vaccine is administered to protect against rotavirus infections, which are the leading cause of severe diarrhea among young children.

"We have designing the strategic plan of health reform as ordered by the president. We have decided that Indonesia will administer 14 vaccines in the national program next year," Sadikin remarked.

Inclusion of the three new vaccines is expected to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate, so Indonesia can benefit from the demographic bonus.

"Public participation is crucial. I experienced first-hand during the COVID-19 vaccination that it is not an easy job. If we can do it together, we can conduct 14 routine vaccinations for all Indonesians," he remarked.

Indonesian Medical Association’s (IDI’s) spokesman, Hartono Gunardi, hailed the ministry's plan to include three more vaccines in its routine vaccination program.

"This is a gift for us all -- the PCV, HPV, and rotavirus immunizations -- for all Indonesian children," he stated. Related news: Maternal, infant mortality rates remain high in N Sumatra: Governor
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