Limited knowledge of comorbidities hampers vaccinations among elderly

Limited knowledge of comorbidities hampers vaccinations among elderly

A resident receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) area of Jakarta on Sunday (September 12, 2021). (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus/ak)

They are reluctant to get vaccinated because they got the wrong information
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The vaccination rate in the elderly group in Indonesia is still low because of limited knowledge on comorbidities in this group, Health Ministry's spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinations Siti Nadia Tarmizi has said.

"There are still many elderly who are afraid to be vaccinated, because they have misunderstandings about comorbidities (which are leading them to believe) that (they) should not get vaccinated," she told ANTARA in Jakarta on Friday.

As their knowledge of comorbidities is limited, the elderly are prone to be influenced by hoaxes and not participate in the vaccination program, she said.

"They are reluctant to get vaccinated because they got the wrong information," she noted.

One such doubt pertains to whether the vaccines are halal or not, she explained. "They have doubts on whether it's halal or haram, and are afraid of the side-effects," she said.

Tarmizi stressed that all COVID-19 vaccines currently made available by the government are the best vaccines available and their safety is guaranteed.

Based on the vaccine dashboard of the Health Ministry on Friday afternoon, 27.05 percent, or more than 5.8 million of the 21,553,118 targeted recipients in the elderly age group have received the first vaccine dose. The second dose has been received by 19.07 percent or more than 4.1 million people.

However, this achievement still lags the vaccine coverage in the vulnerable and general public groups, which has reached 28.80 percent for the first dose and 14.62 percent of the 141 million targeted recipients.

The Health Ministry is trying to accelerate vaccination coverage for the elderly by involving community and religious leaders to educate them about vaccine safety, Tarmizi informed.

The ministry is also urging local governments to carry out 'door-to-door' vaccinations so that vaccination locations for the elderly can be reached geographically and economically, she said.

The minister has also been active in registering the elderly through the role of RT/RW and in collaboration with community organizations so that the elderly people can get assistance in reaching the nearest vaccination center, she added.

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