Indonesia hopeful 70 percent of population would receive first jab by the end of 2021

Indonesia Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin. Photo: Presidential Press Bureau
Indonesia Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin. Photo: Presidential Press Bureau

Indonesia has boosted its COVID-19 vaccination hopes with millions of doses set to arrive in the coming months amid an acceleration of the national mass vaccination program.

Speaking at a press conference today, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that Indonesia is likely to meet its herd immunity target of vaccinating 70 percent of the population — at least with the first of two required doses — before 2021 concludes.

“We are accelerating the vaccination program in Indonesia so, God willing, by the end of the year 181.5 million Indonesians would have been vaccinated — at least once,” Budi said.

Budi also confirmed today’s arrival of 14 million doses of the vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, which has overwhelmingly been the most used vaccine in the national rollout.

“Maybe by the beginning of August there will be 85 million Sinovac doses that are ready for use. This means that there are more and more vaccines being shipped to Indonesia,” he said.

The minister said Indonesia is also expecting additional shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the WHO-backed COVAX initiative to make vaccines available to developing nations, as well as shipments of the Pfizer vaccine in August.

Also read — Indonesia to begin receiving shipments of Pfizer vaccine in August

Indonesia previously aimed to fully inoculate 70 percent of the population by early 2022. There was general pessimism that it would achieve that feat given the slow daily vaccination rate since the national program began in January, but it certainly doesn’t look out of the question now that the country is beginning to be able to vaccinate 1 million people daily after it expanded the eligibility list to include all adults over the age of 18.

As of June 29, Indonesia has administered the first vaccine dose to 28.3 million people and the second dose to 13.3 million people, which is around 4.9 percent of the population.

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