JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The government has announced that it will send stocks of Jakarta’s AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine which are nearly expiring to other parts of Indonesia before they are disposed of.
The move comes after President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo ordered regional administrations across Indonesia to speed up vaccination drives not to stockpile Covid-19 vaccines in order to speed up vaccination drives nationwide.
“Jakarta has 400 thousand doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine which will expire by the end of June. They were originally part of a batch that was shipped to Indonesia last April,” said Indonesian Ministry of Health Director General for Disease Prevention and Control Maxi Rein.
Speaking to Kompas.com Tuesday, Maxi added that the Ministry will give Jakarta a chance to use up the said AstraZeneca batch.
“If [the Jakarta Health Services] used up 30 thousand doses [of the AstraZeneca vaccine] on a daily basis before the month is out, they can still use up the stock before they expired,” he asserted.
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“But if Jakarta is unable to use up the [AstraZeneca vaccine batch], we will send the stocks to Bali, as their vaccine stocks are running low
Jakarta Health Services head Erizon Safari reiterated Maxi. “[The Jakarta Health Services] is speeding up its vaccination drive [with the AstraZeneca vaccine] before it expires. We are currently trying to vaccinate at least 1,200 people a day per urban village,” he said.
“This target is challenging to reach because of widespread skepticism of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to reports that called [the vaccine’s] reputation into question. We are also going to launch a campaign with officials at the local level to raise awareness of the vaccine’s safety.”
Erizon maintained that the fatalities with the AstraZeneca vaccine, such as Trio Fauqi Virdaus in Jakarta and Bali resident Muhamad Abdul Malanua last May are likely caused by pre-existing conditions.
(Writer: Ihsanuddin | Editor: Sandro Gatra)