Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - Merely 1,648,791 people, or 40.9 percent of the residents in Aceh province, had received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Aceh Health Office.

Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Aceh Health Office, Iman Murahman, remarked on Saturday that the vaccination rate for the second dose was still very low as compared to recipients of the first dose that had been administered to 80.7 percent of the Acehnese population, or 3,251,138 people.

Murahman stated that the second dose of vaccination was currently being expedited for all districts and cities.

He explained that the Government of Aceh was aiming to reach the 70-percent target by December 2021 for the first dose of vaccination, but the goal was only achieved in early January of 2022.

Thus, residents, who had received the first dose in late December 2021 to early January 2022, could not take the second dose right away, as the second shot could only be administered 28 days after having received the first dose.

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Murahman stated that no challenges were encountered during the administration of the second dose of vaccination in Aceh. So far, people have continued to visit the COVID-19 vaccination sites after the schedule was set.

The government continues to push for the second dose of vaccination as well as the third dose or booster for those eligible for it. The measure was taken in a bid to deal with the risk of a spike in the number of cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Murahman stated that the elderly group was being prioritized, as old people might be severely affected once they were infected with COVID-19.

Murahman confirmed that his administration had recently received additional COVID-19 vaccine doses from the central government. Sinovac vaccine has been used for the second dose of vaccination as well as the first dose of vaccination aimed at children.

"Yesterday, the vaccine doses arrived from the (central government), and we have distributed it to districts and cities. The Sinovac stock is available. Pfizer and Moderna are also available. (The stock) can last up to the next week," he added.

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Translator: Khalis Surry, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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