Health workers to get Moderna vaccine booster, minister assures

Health workers to get Moderna vaccine booster, minister assures

A screenshot of Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin joining an online event on World Hepatitis Day from Jakarta on July 28, 2021. (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has assured that vaccinated health workers in Indonesia will be offered a third COVID-19 vaccine, or booster, to strengthen their immune response.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will be offered as a booster to health workers, he added.

"We assure that the Moderna vaccine as a booster vaccine will be provided to all health workers. We have distributed the vaccine to all provinces in Indonesia," he said at an online press conference originating from Jakarta on Monday.

He demanded that Moderna vaccines be made available for all health workers as they are in the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic.

"Health workers should be our priority for vaccine booster because they get to see confirmed positive patients every day," Sadikin noted.

He also asked the public and all stakeholders to not use the booster vaccine quota of health workers.

Related news: Third COVID-19 shots only for 1.5 million Indonesian health workers

According to Sadikin, the Moderna vaccines remaining after the quota for health workers is met will be administered to 140 million unvaccinated Indonesians.

"There are only 68 million to 70 million people who have been vaccinated, the remaining 140 million still need access to the first dose of vaccines. Please give the vaccine to them first," he said.

As per data provided by the COVID-19 task force, more than 47 million people have received the first vaccine dose in the country, while 20 million people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. They represent about 24.5 percent of Indonesia's total population.

The government is targeting to vaccinate 208 million people by ramping up daily vaccinations to 2 million, starting this month.

A booster vaccine is needed to boost the immune response to the current variant of COVID-19, especially among health workers, officials have said. Data shows that between March 2020 and July 2021, as many as 1,141 health workers have succumbed to the virus.

According to Bio Farma's research, a vaccine booster needs to ideally be injected six months after the second dose of vaccination.

Indonesia received three million doses of the Moderna vaccine on July 11, 2021 from the United States through the COVAX facility.

Related news: 3.5 million doses of Moderna from US govt arrive in Jakarta