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June 26, 2021, 02.17 AM

JAKARTA, - Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has weighed in on the debate of whether to give children Covid-19 vaccinations, following findings that kids are particularly vulnerable to the Delta variant of the pandemic.

"[The government] is considering the use of the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccines for children. The former can be used to vaccinate children from the ages of 3 to 17, while the latter can be used on juveniles aged 12 to 17," Budi said in a virtual press conference on Friday. June 25.

He added that the ministry is still discussing the technicalities of administering Covid-19 vaccines to children with the Indonesia Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), as well as other factors.

Also read: Pandemic Control, Flattening the Curve Matter: Indonesian Health Minister

"We will be observing how the United States and European countries carry out vaccinations to children, or whether they will vaccinate them according to their [age] groups," Budi asserted. 

"We will then comprehensively use the data from those countries, as well as scientific data from emergency health authorization to various vaccine manufacturers, before we decide to vaccinate children."

He cited global statistics which showed that Covid-19 recovery rates in children aged 18 years and under showed 99 percent of them can be cured, as compared to those age group 18 years and over.

Also read: Jakarta to Continue Trial Face-to-Face Classes in Schools

Previously, the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) and the Indonesian Pediatirician Association (IDAI) has urged the government to administer Covid-19 vaccines to children.

"The Covid-19 vaccine is safe for children. The policy should start immediately and be carried out simultaneously with the start of face-to-face classes," said IDI chairman Daeng M Faqih.

"The vaccines should orientate the faculty and students of schools about the measure's importance along with health protocol, along with need to sterilize the school grounds."

Indonesia's recent Covid-19 surge, which saw coronavirus numbers rise to more than two million cases, has thrown the government's plan to start face-to-face classes for the 2021-2022 school year in limbo.

(Writer: Dani Prabowo, Sania Mashabi | Editor: Haryanti Puspa Sari, Icha Rastika)


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