Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has appealed to people to not be “picky” about the COVID-19 vaccines offered by the government, saying the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared all currently authorized and recommended vaccines safe.

"So, there is no reason for the public to hesitate to participate in the vaccination program," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokesperson for the ministry, said here on Tuesday.

To vaccinate the targeted 181 million recipients under the national program, the government will require around 426 million vaccine doses, she pointed out.

The huge number of vaccine doses cannot be supplied by just one vaccine manufacturer, she said. In fact, countries around the world have been competing fiercely to secure vaccine supplies for their populations, she added.

"At first, Indonesia received the Sinovac vaccine, then at the end of March and early April, 2021, we had the AstraZeneca vaccine, and in June or July, 2021, other vaccines are scheduled to arrive, (which) include Novavax and Pfizer," she noted.

The government is calling all vaccines as COVID-19 vaccines, so that they are no longer identified on the basis of producers, Tarmizi said.

"We call all of these (vaccines received by the country as) COVID-19 vaccines," she stated.

The WHO has found the AstraZeneca vaccine safe and effective in protecting people from the very serious risks posed by COVID-19, including death, hospitalization, and serious illness, she pointed out.

Carrying out vaccinations is currently crucial as the government is trying to achieve herd immunity, she said.

"People should not hesitate to join the vaccination program. The benefits of the vaccination program far outweigh the risks," she asserted.

More than 13 million people have received their first vaccine shots and over nine million have received their second vaccine dose so far in the country, as per government data. (INE)

Related news: Indonesia gets third batch of AstraZeneca vaccine under COVAX facility
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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