JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian healthcare workers in Java and Bali islands will be the priority group to receive the 1.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine that have recently arrived from China, an official said on Thursday.
Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokesperson for the Covid-19 mass vaccination program at the Ministry of Health, said that the newly-arrived vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac will also be given to assistants for healthcare workers and support personnel at the healthcare facilities.
“[The vaccine] will be given to 1.2 million healthcare workers, assistants for healthcare workers, and support personnel at the healthcare facilities throughout Java and Bali regions,” Nadia told Kompas.com on December 10.
She explained that the healthcare workers in Java and Bali are the top priority in Covid-19 vaccination because the two regions are Indonesia’s most populous islands. Besides, the highest number of Covid-19 cases is on Java island.
“Java constitutes about 60 percent of our country’s population and many Covid-19 cases are found in Java island,” she said.
Previously, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto also said that the first shipment of coronavirus vaccine from China last Sunday would be given to the healthcare workers.
Terawan said that the Ministry of Health has prepared data on the number of target recipients and vaccines needed for each region.
“For the first phase of the vaccination program, the target will be healthcare workers, assistants for healthcare workers, and support personnel in the healthcare facilities,” Terawan said in a virtual press conference broadcast via Communication and Information Ministry’s YouTube channel on Monday, December 7.
“The Ministry of Health has prepared the target number and vaccine needed for every regency or city,” the minister said.
Subsequently, he said, the data compiled by the Health Ministry will continue to be processed in the system of the Covid-19 Mitigation and National Economic Recovery (KPC-PEN) Committee. The output will appear in the form of name and address, he added.
Meanwhile, Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto who is also Chairman of the KPC-PEN said that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by China-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech still has to be evaluated by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) before the mass inoculation program.
The evaluation aims to ensure the quality, effectiveness, and safety of the China-made Covid-19 vaccine.
“Besides, we are also waiting for fatwa [edict] from the Indonesian Ulema Council [MUI] for its halal aspect,” Airlangga said.
He said that the shipment and availability of the vaccine will be held gradually. Therefore, the vaccination program will be carried out in stages under the purview of the Ministry of Health, which will prioritize healthcare workers and public service officers, he said.
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