Aceh prioritizes frontline medical workers for COVID vaccine jab

Banda Aceh (ANTARA) – The Aceh provincial government is targeting to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 62,255 frontline medical workers after receiving the first batch of vaccines from the Indonesian Health Ministry.

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines that the provincial government has received would be prioritized for frontline medical workers, Aceh Health Office head Hanif revealed here on Wednesday.

“The vaccine doses, allocated to every district and city in Aceh, are expected to be able to cover 22 percent of 62,255 medical workers in the province,” he informed.

Aceh province received eight boxes containing 14 thousand doses of the Sinovac vaccine dispatched by state-owned pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma via air on Tuesday.

The vaccine stock has been moved to the Aceh health office’s cold-storage room, while the authorities await directives for redistributing it to 23 districts and cities across Aceh, he said.

Regarding the government’s national COVID-19 vaccination program, Aceh’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson, Saifullah, disclosed that around 3.3 million residents of Aceh would be inoculated under the program.

The Health Ministry had revealed earlier that it would take 15 months to vaccinate about 181.5 million people across Indonesia under the national COVID-19 vaccination program.

“We need 15 months to accomplish it. Time-frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January, 2021 to March, 2022,” the Health Ministry’s spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated on Sunday.

During that period of time, the government is targeting to vaccinate around 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she revealed.

The first phase of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program has been divided into two parts: January-April, 2021 and April, 2021-March, 2022, according to Tarmizi.

In connection with the vaccination program, the government has highlighted the importance of a fatwa or decision by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on the halal status of the vaccines.

Indonesian Vice Presidential spokesperson Masduki Baidlowi has assured that the government will not commence administering COVID-19 vaccines without MUI’s fatwa or decision.

Hence, the COVID-19 vaccine program will be undertaken after MUI’s decision is announced on the halal status of the vaccine regarding whether it is religiously acceptable for consumption according to Muslim law, he noted on Tuesday.

Team members of the Indonesian Ulema Council Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics (LPPOM MUI) have been looking into matters related to the halal status of China’s Sinovac vaccine, he stated. (INE)

Source: Antara News