JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - A spokesperson for the Covid-19 Handling Task Force Team Reisa Brotoasmoro revealed that only about 11 percent or 2.4 million of senior citizens have been fully vaccinated now in Indonesia.
"Only about 11 percent of 21 million seniors have been fully vaccinated. There are still many who have not received their Covid-19 shots," Reisa said in a televised message Monday, April 26.
She elaborated that the government has set a target of vaccinating as many as 21,553,118 seniors of the total population. As of April 25, only 2,413,397 seniors, or 11.2 percent had received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, only 1,327,533 or 6.16 percent of the elderly people had received the second dose, she said.
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The elderly people are prioritized in the country's mass vaccination program. However, the number of those who have been vaccinated is considered lower than other priority groups such as health care workers and public service workers. Therefore, given the benefits of the vaccine, she stressed the need to continue to vaccinate the seniors even during the month of Ramadan.
"Vaccination during Ramadan does not invalidate fasting. The Health Minister has reminded all managers of the Covid-19 vaccination program in all regions to continue vaccination for the seniors," Reisa asserted.
For the elderly who are still hesitant to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination program due to comorbid or congenital diseases, Reisa advised them to consult with physicians. The doctors will provide specific advice on how to control comorbidities so that they can pass the health screening before getting vaccinated.
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"Keep taking the medicine recommended by the doctor. Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine does not mean stopping routine treatment," Reisa said.
For the seniors who feel uncomfortable going to the vaccination center alone, Reisa advised them to ask for assistance from their children or relatives. People accompanying at least two seniors could be also vaccinated in vaccination centers, she added.