Indonesia will begin offering COVID-19 booster shots starting 12th January, according to the head of the Committee for Handling COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery Airlangga Hartarto.
The booster program will target the elderly and vulnerable groups who are part of the Non-Contributory Health Insurance (PBI) which will be given free of charge. Then, the booster program will be extended to the non-PBI general public through a paid scheme.
Airlangga continued that the COVID-19 vaccine booster program will use two schemes. That is the administration of homologous vaccines aka vaccine doses 1-3 using the same platform and brand, while other administrations use the heterologous method, which is the administration of the third dose of vaccine which is different from the administration of the first two doses.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy said that the provision of the two booster schemes has come from a recommendation from the National Immunisation Expert Advisory Committee (ITAGI). The emergency use permit (EUA) for the homologous booster vaccine is targeted to be released by the Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) in early 2022.
“Early next week, some homologous boosters can come out,” said the Head of BPOM Penny K Lukito when contacted by AFP on Friday 31st December 2021.
She did not specify which booster COVID-19 vaccine will be approved next week, because it is still in the process. However, she confirmed that four COVID-19 vaccines would be approved for booster vaccination, namely Sinovac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm vaccines.
According to the Director-General of Disease Prevention and Control at the Health Ministry Dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, stocks of the COVID-19 vaccine are currently being prepared, as well as the regulations, target mapping, vaccine logistics readiness, service flow, and vaccination simulation plans.
Indonesia currently has dozens of Omicron cases mostly imported from 60 Indonesian citizens from traveling abroad, seven foreigners, and one case of local transmission in DKI Jakarta. The majority of cases come from international arrivals from:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- South Korea