The Ministry of Health has emphasised that the target of vaccinating 181.5 million people will still be hit.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that Indonesia must be able to inject 1 million people per day starting June 2021 due to the limited availability of the vaccine.
So far, 2.5 million people have received their first injection. About 1.1 million of them have already been injected twice. Quoted from the Health Ministry’s daily data, on average 100,000 people are getting injected for the first time each day.
The following is the roadmap regarding vaccinations and the target for procurement in 2021:
- March-April 2021: 30 million doses
- Injection target of 100,000-500,000 per day
- May-June 2021: 50 million doses
- Injection target of 500,000-1 million per day
- July-December 2021: 260 million doses
- Injection target of 1-1.5 million per day
To reach more than 1 million injections per day, the Health Minister noted that there are more needs than just vials of the vaccine. Indonesia also requires:
- 40,000 vaccinators
- 13,000 public clinics
- Personal facilities and cooperation with various parties
To date, 1.46 million health workers have all received the first injection of the Sinovac vaccine.
After healthcare workers, seniors over 60 years old are next in line. Along with the elderly, public officials are also the priority group for vaccines. The total of these two groups is around 38.4 million people.
Public officials who have received their dose include traders, journalists, and public transportation officers. Then, athletes and the Indonesian National Army and Police are being injected.
Vaccination for this group is targeted for completion in June 2021. Two vaccines are used, namely Sinovac and the free vaccine through GAVI’s COVAX scheme.
After these groups, those who have been declared vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), people with comorbidities, or those with congenital diseases, informal sector workers, children, people with disabilities, and people who are HIV positive will all be jabbed.
From the same data, the number of vaccines needed to vaccinate this group is 130 million doses. With an estimate that each vaccination requires two doses, that means there are 65 million people being injected.
After the vulnerable groups, the general public will receive the vaccine from September. The total target is about 194 million doses for 97 million people.
Indonesia’s vaccination program is targeted to be completed in March 2022, noting the availability of vaccines. If the vaccine arrives sooner and the Red and White vaccine is produced early, the process will be faster. However, if the opposite happens, the vaccination process may take longer.
Furthermore, the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine is said to not triggered a sufficient antibody response against the new variant identified in Brazil, known as P1. This was revealed from a laboratory study of a number of samples.
As reported by Reuters, plasma samples taken from eight people vaccinated with Sinovac’s vaccine, called CoronaVac, failed to neutralise the P1 variant efficiently. Research has shown that reinfection can occur in individuals who are vaccinated with the Sinovac injection.
However, the protection provided by the Sinovac vaccine is to keep COVID-19 patients from becoming severely ill if exposed to the virus. UI infectious disease expert, Pandu Riono, explained that this could happen if this variant had already dominated in a country. So far, there have been no reports regarding the variant in Indonesia.
“The P1 virus found in Brazil was able to avoid the antibody reaction provoked by the Sinovac vaccine. Vaccination could be of little use if the P1 variant entered and dominated the SARS-CoV-2 population circulating in Indonesia,” said Pandu.
Detection must be swift to avoid this variant dominating. This includes other variants, such as the British B.1.1.7 variant which has recently been detected in Indonesia.