Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is preparing to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged six months to less than six years from the second quarter of this year.

"Based on our calculations, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination will be carried out in the second quarter as it requires coordination with vaccine providers," Head of the Communications and Public Services Bureau of the Health Ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi said here on Friday.

A vaccine made by Pfizer has just obtained emergency-use authorization (EUA) for children aged six months to less than six years, she informed.

"Therefore, we still need to prepare when they (manufacturers) will send the vaccine to Indonesia," she added.

She said the ministry has finished calculating the need for the COVID-19 vaccine based on the estimated number of children aged six months to five years who will be targeted for the vaccination.

The ordering of COVID-19 vaccines for children from that age group will be carried out in stages based on the need so that no vaccines get wasted by reaching their expiration date, she added.

"At the moment, there is already a calculation of the amount we requested, but it doesn't come all at once, several batches first," she said.

Tarmizi explained that the COVID-19 vaccination for children aged six months to under six years will be carried out based on the recommendations of the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI).

"There have been recommendations from ITAGI for vaccinations of children under five months to less than six years, including boosters for ages over six years," she said.

The government has so far carried out COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 6 to 11 years, youths aged 12 to 17 years, people aged 18 years and above, and people aged 60 years and over, or the elderly.

Vaccinations up to the fourth dose or second booster have been carried out for the target group of human resources in the health sector, the elderly, and people aged 18 years and over.

According to the COVID-19 vaccination coverage data published on the Ministry of Health's website on Friday, 204,222,622 people have received the first vaccine dose so far.

Meanwhile, the second dose has been provided to 175,047,600 people, the third dose to 69,300,293 people, and the fourth dose to 1,249,129 people.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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