Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) – The East Nusa Tenggara provincial government hinted at the arrival of some 13 thousand doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine in Kupang on Tuesday for distribution to 22 districts and cities throughout the province.
“For this first phase of vaccine distribution, the vaccine doses are prioritized for medical workers,” the provincial government’s spokesman, Marius Ardu Jelamu, stated in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Monday.
Speaking in connection with the government’s directives, the national COVID-19 vaccination program has outlined a target to administer the vaccines to citizens in the age group of 18 and 59 years, he remarked.
“The vaccination program will thereafter cover senior citizens aged 60 years and above,” he noted, adding that the provincial government will require some seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to administer to its entire population.
To support this national vaccination program, state-owned pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma had begun distribution of the doses of the Sinovac vaccine to 34 provinces throughout Indonesia on Sunday (January 3, 2021).
To this end, the government has been awaiting the issuance of emergency-use authorization from Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) before commencing the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Health Ministry’s spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, had noted earlier that the vaccination program will likely take 15 months to administer the vaccines to some 181.5 million people.
“We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January 2021 to March 2022,” Tarmizi stated at a virtual press conference that ANTARA participated in on Sunday.
During that period of time, the government has targeted to administer the vaccines to some 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she stated.
The first phase of the government’s vaccination program was divided into the two periods of January-April 2021 and April 2021-March 2022, Tarmizi confirmed.
Since the vaccination may take long to complete, the ministry’s spokesperson has appealed to all societal elements at large to consistently adhere to the government’s health protocols to avert the potential transmission of COVID-19.
“We still have a long way to go before being able to surmount over this coronavirus pandemic. An effective fight against it is conducting the vaccination program and consistently practicing the 3M health protocols,” she affirmed.
The 3M stands for “menjaga jarak,” or social distancing; “mencuci tangan,” or hand-washing; and “memakai masker,” or mask-wearing.
Source: Antara News