Gov’t to Start COVID-19 Vaccination for Children Aged 6-11 on December 14

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Vaksin COVID-19COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 to 11 years will start on Tuesday (12/14). The number of children targeted to get vaccinated reaches up to 26.5 million based on 2020 population census data.

Acting Director General for Disease Control and Prevention of Ministry of Health, dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said that the Ministry has prepared to kick off the COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 to 11 years.

“We hope that on Tuesday (12/14) it starts to kick off in some regions, and afterwards we will have all 6 to 11-year-old children up to 26.8 million in total number get vaccinated gradually until next year,” he said in virtual dissemination on COVID-19 vaccination for 6 to 11-year-old children, on Sunday (12/12).

Vaccination for children is in line with the Presidential Instruction to conduct vaccination for 6 to 11-year-old children immediately. In addition to that, Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) has also issued recommendation to conduct COVID-19 vaccination for 6 to 11-year-old children.

“This program is conducted because we want to accelerate vaccination for all residents in Indonesia and also to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Director General Maxi said.

The vaccination will be conducted in stages. At the first stage, vaccination will be conducted at provinces and regencies/cities with above 70 percent of its residents having received the first dose and above 60 percent of its senior residents having been vaccinated.

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To date, 8.8 million residents of 106 regencies/cities of 11 provinces that meet the criteria are those in Banten, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, East Kalimantan, Riau Islands, West Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, and Bali.

The vaccine type used at the moment is Sinovac which already received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As many as 6.4 million doses of Sinovac vaccine will be used until the end of December 2021.

“There are 6.4 million doses used in December, and then in January 2022, Sinovac vaccine will be added more from Indonesian Directorate General for Pharmacy and Medical Devices Affairs, and it has arrived in Indonesia, so that this vaccination program (for children) will continue to carry on,” he said.

Starting from next year, Maxi continued, Sinovac will be used for children. This should be well-noted. So, non-Sinovac vaccines will be prioritized for residents other than the 6 to 11-year-old children.

Vaccine shot will be conducted with intramuscular injection at the upper arm’s area with 0.5 ml dosage. Vaccination will be given twice with at least 28 days interval. Before vaccination, screening will be done with standard format by health workers who will conduct the vaccination.

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The vaccination sites can take place in Community Health Centers (Puskesmas), hospitals, or other health services run by the Government or private institutions, including vaccination service posts and vaccination centers.

“We also expect (to conduct vaccination) at vaccination service posts at schools or other educational institutions, or social institutions for children’s welfare such as orphanages,” he remarked. (PR of Ministry of Health/AIT) (AW/MUR)

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