TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Health is considering the distribution of the second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine given the ministry’s predictions that the pandemic will continue and the fact that a number of countries have administered the fourth dose.
“The plan is under consideration due to the long-term pandemic,” ministry spokesman Mohammad Syahril was quoted as saying by Antara Friday, July 22, 2022.
According to Syahril, the ministry as well as the Indonesian Immunization Technical Advisory Group (ITAGI) are having intensive discussions regarding the fourth dose vaccination program for the general public in the country. Priority will be given to high-risk groups, namely health workers, the elderly and civil servants.
The government also discussed its ability to ensure vaccine supply and third dose vaccination coverage which are still below target. According to the ministry’s immunization dashboard, only 53.89 million people, or 25.88 percent of the 208 million target, received the first booster.
Meanwhile, ITAGI President Sri Rezeki Hadinegoro has denied being asked by the Ministry of Health to comment on the second vaccination booster. She pointed out that ITAGI has not yet given such a recommendation due to the unmet coverage of the primary and booster vaccinations.
“The first dose vaccination coverage at 90% is good, while the second dose vaccination coverage is a bit low although it is quite good at 81%,” Sri said. Antara Friday, July 22, 2022.
She confirmed that the fourth COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk people is recommended by WHO but implementation depends on each country. For Indonesia, Sri suggested that the government should meet the target of vaccination coverage per primary dose and vaccination coverage per first booster.
Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) COVID-19 Task Force Chairman Zubairi Djoerban gave the same recommendation regarding the second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “The first booster hasn’t hit the target yet, so it better make it a priority,” he said.
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