Sinovac and Sinopharm have the same dosage for children's vaccines, but for Pfizer, the dose is reduced to three microgramsJakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has requested an additional 58.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for recipients in the age bracket of six to 11 years in Indonesia.
"We already have 26.4 million vaccines for children in the age group of six to 11 years, and we need another 58.7 million doses of vaccine for them, which has also not been budgeted," Minister Sadikin stated at the Commission IX hearing meeting, which was followed on the Indonesian House of Representatives' YouTube channel on Monday.
Sadikin affirmed that several child vaccines had secured an Emergency Use Permit (EUA) in foreign countries -- Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Pfizer -- with different conditions and packaging for each type.
"Sinovac and Sinopharm have the same dosage for children's vaccines, but for Pfizer, the dose is reduced to three micrograms," he noted.
Vaccinations for children are generally given in several countries, with vaccination coverage reaching 50 percent, Sadikin remarked.
The minister also noted that the elderly group had a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 that caused COVID-19 as compared to the children's group.
"If we look at the highest risk, it can reach 12 percent for elderly people, while the lowest risk is among children, being below one percent, maybe 0.05 percent," Sadikin noted.
As compared to the risk of illness to hospitalization or death, the elderly are about 20 to 30 folds more at risk than children.
"In Indonesia, elderly vaccination is still quite low, at 40-50 percent. Our priority is to distribute the existing vaccines to the elderly to ensure there is no increase in the number of cases in future," he emphasized.
Minister Sadikin affirmed that the additional vaccine requirement for children was currently being incorporated in the 2022 state budget proposal.
The budget proposal encompasses the purchase of a booster vaccine for an injection and assistance for booster vaccines for the National Health Insurance (PBI) beneficiaries.
"We have planned a vaccine budget for children and PBI in next year's budget. There are 26.4 million kids in the age group of six to 11 years, and it takes 58.7 million doses since two doses of the vaccine are required," he added.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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