Health Ministry ensures vaccine stocks to suffice for regional demand

Health Ministry ensures vaccine stocks to suffice for regional demand

Vaccine recipients queueing up at the Gelora Bung Karno vaccination center, Central Jakarta. (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus)/rst.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry’s Spokesperson for COVID-19 Vaccination Program Siti Nadia Tarmizi made assurance of sufficient vaccine stocks to meet the regional demand.

"We have adequate stocks of vaccine. However, please note that all targets cannot be vaccinated simultaneously, as vaccine doses also arrive gradually," Tarmizi stated here, Thursday,

According to the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ (Kominfo’s) data, until Tuesday, Indonesia had received 179 million vaccine doses comprising 144.7 million doses of bulk vaccine and 34.7 million doses of ready-to-use vaccine.

Meanwhile,  state-owned pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma produced a total of 152 million vaccine doses. Some 117.3 million were in raw material form and 34.7 million in the form of finished vaccines. The bulk vaccines are obtained from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Moderna.

Directorate-General (Ditjen) of Pharmacy and Medical Devices of the Ministry of Health reported that as of August 2, some 90 million doses of vaccines had been distributed to 34 provinces. A total of 68 million doses were administered to vaccine recipients.

Tarmizi attributed the vaccine shortages in several areas to miscommunication. Several regions had not updated their data regarding vaccine stocks, thereby resulting in the Health Ministry misinterpreting the vaccine stocks in the regions as still being safe.

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However, Tarmizi noted that this issue had been addressed. Millions of vaccine doses have and will be distributed to the regions, she added.

"We had distributed three million in the third week of July for the second dose of vaccine. In the following week, we had distributed six million doses, and we will send another six million," she confirmed.

Tarmizi noted that the high level of public enthusiasm to partake in vaccinations also impacted vaccine supplies in the country. Moreover, the target age for vaccination is currently increasing, she pointed out.

"Currently, there is no special limit on vaccination, thereby translating to the fact that anyone over the age of 12 can be vaccinated. Hence, of course, we have to be careful in regulating the vaccine quota," the spokesperson noted.

The government is also expanding collaboration with the private sector to reach more participants for vaccination.

"The private sector holds vast potential. Hopefully, we shall be able to open more vaccination spots," she affirmed.

The Ministry of Health is also striving to increase the number of vaccinators on account of the fact that Indonesia will receive a large number of vaccine doses in October 2021.

"We may be receiving double the quantity of vaccines in October. Hence, we have quickly expanded access to vaccination for the public," Tarmizi noted in her closing statement.  Related news: Limited stocks, technical production impact vaccine distribution