Gov’t looking to expand immunization coverage: Ministry

Self Care

The government will carry out several strategies during the National Children’s Immunization Month (BIAN), that is in May, to increase immunization coverage, Health Ministry’s acting director for immunization management, Dr. Prima Yosephine, has said.

One of the strategies is to expedite the administration of polio vaccines, either oral polio vaccines (OPV) or inactivated polio vaccines (IPV), to toddlers who have not obtained them or gotten late in obtaining them, Yosephine informed at a press conference on the 2022 World Immunization Week here on Monday.

Moreover, during BIAN, the Health Ministry will accelerate and provide an additional shot of the vaccine against rubella, she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has been going on since 2020, has significantly curtailed immunization coverage, she noted.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced health programs, including routine immunization, so the support of all parties is needed for its successful implementation,” she said.

According to Yosephine, data has shown a decline in immunization coverage globally, from 86 percent in 2019 to 83 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, a decline in immunization coverage has been recorded for all types of antigens in the period from 2020 to 2021, compared to the previous years, she informed.

In 2021, the basic immunization coverage reached only 84.22 percent compared to the determined target of 93.6 percent. In 2019–2021, there were 1.7 million children who had not obtained complete basic immunization.

“This condition will decrease herd immunity and trigger small regions that can become sources of diseases that can be prevented by immunization (PD3I), and even extraordinary events of PD3I,” she stressed.

Therefore, she said, the 2022 World Immunization Week is offering a right and strategic momentum to raise awareness on the importance of immunization.

Source: Antara News