Health Minister Ensures COVID-19 Vaccine Availability

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin Monday (15/11) delivers a press statement after attending a limited meeting on the Evaluation of PPKM at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta. (Photo by: Public Relations/Agung)

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin has ensured that COVID-19 vaccine stock in the country is still sufficient to meet the needs for national vaccination.

“Our vaccine stock is safe. To date, there are 267 million of these doses that have been distributed to regencies, cities, and provinces,” the Minister said in a press statement at Presidential Office, Jakarta, Monday (15/11).

Data from the Ministry shows that as of Monday (15/11) at 18.00 Western Indonesian Time, 130.95 million or 62.88 percent of the 208.27 million people have received the jabs and a total of 84.87 million people or 40.75 percent of them are already fully vaccinated.

“We also continuously administer 1.6 -2 million injections per day.  It is estimated that by the end of this year, we can administer a total of 290-300 million injections, bringing the estimated first dose to 161 million people or 78 percent of the target population and the second dose to around 118 million of close to 60 percent,” he added.

The Minister also stated that vaccination progress in Indonesia has met the target set by World Health Organization (WHO) in which 40 percent of the population in each country is targeted to to have received a complete dose of vaccination by the end of the year.

According to Budi, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has reminded his administration to pay more attention to the expiration date of COVID-19 vaccines, adding that the President has also ordered regional governments to be more mindful of the expiration date to prevent expired stocks.

“The President also underscored that we must be careful of expired vaccines. If, for example, the vaccine is close to expiration, we can transfer it to other provinces that still need the vaccine or we can transfer it to the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri),” he added.

On medicines for COVID-19 treatment, the Minister expressed hope that oral antiviral medicine Molnupiravir from US medicine manufacturer Merck can soon arrive in Indonesia, adding that his Ministry continues to review other medicines that can reduce the risks of people with confirmed cases from hospital admission.

“We will continue to work with the Indonesian Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) to study alternative medicines,” he remarked. (MAY/UN) (FI/EP)

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