COVID vaccination program: Minister urges people to be patient

Jakarta Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has urged people seeking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to be more patient with the phased rollout of the vaccine program amid a tussle between countries to secure vaccines.

“Many countries have not been able to get the vaccine. Of the total 7.8 billion human population on earth, 70 percent, or about 5.5 billion people, need 11 billion vaccine doses to achieve herd immunity; so, the vaccination process is (going to be) gradual. And it will take time,” he said while reviewing a vaccination program at the MUI office in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According to Sadikin, there is tough competition among countries to procure COVID-19 vaccines as all countries are relying on them to emerge out of the crisis.

Indonesia, he said, is lucky because it has received vaccines and started the vaccination process.

In comparison, several other Asian countries just started vaccination a few days ago, he noted.

“Several developed countries have just started vaccinating (citizens), so Indonesia is grateful that we could get it (vaccines), because there is still a scramble for them around the world,” he said.

The Indonesian government will continue to speed up vaccinations so that herd immunity can be achieved and it is hoped that by June this year, 20 percent of the population will have received the vaccine, he added.

To achieve herd immunity, Indonesia needs to vaccinate 70 percent of the people aged 18 years and above. The minister said the government is targeting to inoculate as many as 181 million Indonesians.

“Indeed, the vaccination program is being carried out gradually, so people, please be patient, until June maybe 20 percent of the population would be vaccinated. We are trying to get as many vaccines as possible,” he said.

The Minister of Health also said he hopes that the efforts taken by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) can convince the public to participate in the vaccination program so that the country can quickly emerge out of the pandemic.

“Thank you friends, hopefully we can build a vaccination movement for Indonesia,” he remarked.

Source: Antara News