Indonesia : Vaccination for children as young as 12 to begin

Indonesia : Vaccination for children as young as 12 to begin

Indonesia : Vaccination for children as young as 12 to begin

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that COVID-19 vaccination for those aged 12 to 17 can start immediately. This came after the country’s food and drug agency (BPOM) approved the emergency use of China’s Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine for people as young as 12 years old.  

He has asked authorities to boost the country’s vaccination rollout to two million shots a day by August from the current level of about 1 million a day, as a second wave of infections engulfs Southeast Asia country. Indonesia has been battling a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks and recorded new record cases with more than 21,000 cases a day over the weekend. 

The spike is predicted to continue until at least the beginning of July as previous holidays tended to result in a hike in COVID-19 cases up to seven weeks after. Indonesia has received around 104.7 million vaccines with the majority of them being from Sinovac, followed by AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. 

At least 10 out of 26 Indonesian doctors who have died from Covid-19 this month had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, prompting authorities to consider whether medics should receive alternative doses to boost immunity. Indonesia, which has relied on the Chinese-made vaccine for its health workers, is struggling with a new surge in coronavirus cases.

The data, released by the Indonesian Medical Association, adds to questions about the level of protection that Sinovac provides against new, more infectious variants. Several countries that have vaccinated a large proportion of their population and used the Chinese-made Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines as part of their inoculation campaigns have reported recent outbreaks. These include Mongolia, Seychelles, Bahrain and Chile.