"Vaccination realization so far (has reached) only around 17 percent because the vaccines are still limited and second, because the operational cost for carrying out vaccinations is high," he said at a press conference on rabies handling in Jakarta.
He assured that his ministry will make sure that once vaccines are distributed, 70 percent of dogs in NTT are vaccinated.
"Currently, there is an easier type of vaccine, namely in pill form, (given) orally, which can then be camouflaged, be put in animal food, especially for dogs," the minister added.
Effendy said that large-scale vaccinations will soon be carried out in NTT under the control and coordination of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Related news: Rabies vaccination coverage at 91.45% in Jakarta: official
According to him, earlier, there were many cases of rabies in Bali province. However, as per reports from the Ministry of Health, the number of patients who died was very small because vaccinations were carried out very well.
"Because Health Minister Sadikin has recommended that for rabies, do not take a curative approach or carry out treatment only after being bitten. Instead, the biters (animals) or the carriers of rabies must first be prevented through vaccinations," the minister said.
Earlier in August 2023, the Australian government provided 400 thousand doses of the rabies vaccine to the Indonesian government to address the outbreak in Denpasar, Bali.
Of the 400 thousand doses, 200 thousand were used for vaccinations in Bali. The remaining 200 thousand were used to handle rabies in the West Timor area of NTT, where vaccinations were rolled out from July 20.
Related news: Massive vaccination necessary for dogs to handle rabies outbreak: govt
Related news: Bali expedites rabies vaccination, ensures vaccine stock availability