Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stressed that children in Indonesia should continue to be passionate about learning, enjoy themselves, and stay diligently devout despite homebound activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All my children, the future of Indonesia, must continue to be enthusiastic about learning, keep having fun, be diligent in worshiping, and do not forget to pray to Allah SWT, God Almighty, to ask for protection for all of us, for the Indonesian nation," President Jokowi stated while greeting elementary school children during a video conference on the occasion of National Children's Day 2021 in Jakarta, Friday.

The head of state highlighted that the plan to start face-to-face schooling, originally scheduled to open in July 2021, was canceled whilst awaiting an improvement in the situation.

Jokowi urged the children to continue to study, always wear masks while leaving the house, wash hands regularly, and remind friends and neighbors to follow suit.

As many as 548 thousand children out of the targeted 11.9 million children in the age group of 12-17 years have received COVID-19 vaccine shots, the Ministry of Health had earlier announced.

"The vaccination drive for children in the age group of 12-17 years is focused on local health facilities or their respective schools," the Health Ministry's COVID-19 vaccinations spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated during an online dialog hosted by the National COVID-19 Handling and Economic Recovery Committee (KPC-PEN) here on Thursday.

Vaccination drives at local healthcare facilities are focused on vaccinating teenagers in the age bracket of 12-17 years, who are not enrolled in any educational institutions, while teenagers enrolled in schools are being directed to get vaccinated at schools hosting vaccination drives, Tarmizi revealed.

Vaccines for teenagers have been distributed nationwide, with 50 percent of the vaccines allocated for the Java-Bali provinces while the rest proportionately to other provinces, she noted.
"We currently have a policy of distributing 50 percent of the vaccines to the Java-Bali provinces due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases there, while the rest of the vaccines will be distributed proportionally to other provinces. That portioning already includes vaccines for teenagers," she stated.

Vaccine stocks in Indonesia currently reach just 130 million doses, a mere 30 percent of the 426 million doses required to meet the national vaccination target, she pointed out.

The target of the vaccination program has also been increased to 208 million, from 181.5 million, Tarmizi remarked.

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Translator: Indra Areif P, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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