COVID-19 vaccination still low among West Java's elderly populace

COVID-19 vaccination still low among West Java's elderly populace

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin poses for a photo after attending the Grand Vaccination Event for the Elderly in West Java at the Otto Iskandar Dinata Soreang Hospital, Bandung District, on Tuesday (5/18/2021). (ANTARA/Ajat Sudrajat).

Moreover, the area is not easily accessible. I am aware of it since I come from the province. Hence, we have come to offer motivation, so that officers in West Java will be more enthusiastic about providing vaccination for the elderly
Bandung (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin pointed to the prevailing low rate of COVID-19 vaccination among elderly groups in West Java as compared to other big Indonesian provinces, with the figure recorded at just eight percent.

"(The vaccination rate for elderly) in West Java is only eight percent. This is (still low) as compared to other big provinces," the minister remarked after attending the Grand Vaccination Ceremony for the Elderly in West Java at the Otto Iskandar Dinata Hospital here on Tuesday.

The minister attributed the low rate of vaccination to the province's population that is the largest of all other provinces.

"Moreover, the area is not easily accessible. I am aware of it since I come from the province. Hence, we have come to offer motivation, so that officers in West Java will be more enthusiastic about providing vaccination for the elderly," he remarked.

Furthermore, the minister drew attention to various challenges posed to vaccination for the elderly in West Java in comparison with vaccinations for other age groups, for which the government should apply a "pick-up" strategy by directly visiting the target to be vaccinated. The Vaccination Festival for the Elderly Across West Java at the Otto Iskandar Dinata Soreang Hospital is part of this strategy.

"As the elderly tend to find it difficult to come directly to the vaccination site, they must be picked up. Since they cannot come alone, a pick up and drop service has to be provided. This is a good idea. This vaccination program is expected to be conducted smoothly and quickly. Public health centers must facilitate access for the elderly by facilitating pick up and drop services for them," he stated.

Meanwhile, acting head of the West Java Provincial Health Office, Dewi Sartika, confirmed that vaccinations for the elderly in West Java had only reached eight percent.

"Vaccinations in West Java had only reached eight percent, or around 380 thousand people. Our target is 4.2 million people, though now, only around 380 thousand elderly have been vaccinated. Hence, the percentage is only around eight percent," he remarked.

Sartika made assurance that the West Java Health Office will continue to make attempts to "pick up" the elderly under the vaccination program, so that all senior citizens in the province can be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"(They) have to be picked up. Then, there are also those using community services, for instance, by taking two elderly people to the vaccination site. This means cooperation is required for such an effort," the health minister stated.
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