Government Aims to Vaccinate Majority of Jakarta Residents by End of Year
Indonesia has kicked off its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with President Joko Widodo and other high-ranking officials receiving the vaccine on live television on Wednesday. The first batch of vaccines, consisting of three million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine, arrived in the country on December 6.
The government aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people, or around 70% of the population, by next year. The vaccine will be given in two doses, with the second dose administered 28 days after the first. The first phase of the rollout will prioritize healthcare workers, followed by public servants, elderly citizens, and other vulnerable populations.
The rollout began in Jakarta, where the majority of COVID-19 cases have been reported. Governor Anies Baswedan has stated that he hopes to vaccinate 80% of the city’s population by the end of the year. The government has also set up a website for citizens to register for the vaccine.
Concerns Over Efficacy and Safety of Sinovac Vaccine
The Sinovac vaccine has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there are concerns over its efficacy and safety. While the vaccine has been shown to be effective in Phase III clinical trials in Brazil and Indonesia, the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, the vaccine has been reported to have a lower efficacy rate than vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
Despite these concerns, the Indonesian government has stated that the Sinovac vaccine is safe and effective. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has emphasized that the government has conducted a thorough evaluation of the vaccine and that it meets the criteria set by the WHO.
The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia is a crucial step in the fight against the pandemic. It is hoped that the vaccine will help to curb the spread of the virus and eventually bring an end to the pandemic in the country.