Indonesia received three batches of vaccines, totaling 6.5 million doses, on Friday (29/10/2021). With the vaccine reinforcement in place, the government expects people to get vaccinated to anticipate a possible third COVID-19 wave. Health Ministry COVID-19 vaccination spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said the three batches that had just arrived consisted of 1,263,600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the 105th batch, 1,336,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the 106th batch and 4,000,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine in the 107th batch. All the three batches came under the direct procurement scheme.

“With the latest arrival added to the total vaccines, both in the form of ready-to-use and bulk vaccines, we have received 312,335,760 vaccine doses,” Nadia said. To speed up vaccination in the regions, she went on, the vaccines of batch 105 would be distributed immediately to various regions. The Pfizer vaccines that arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport would be sent to health agencies in four provinces: Banten, Bengkulu, West Nusa Tenggara and Lampung.

As for the part of batch 105 that arrived at Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, it would be sent on to the Central Java Health Agency, and those that had been sent to Juanda International Airport in Surabaya would be directly sent to the East Java Health Agency.

“We are reinforcing our vaccine stock along with the government’s continuous effort to expand the scope of vaccination in various regions. The vaccines are available, so there is no reason anymore not to get vaccinated. This is our way of anticipating the third wave,” Nadia added.

Vaccination is considered the main source of protection from COVID-19. People can get more protection and prevent themselves from severe illness and other risks from COVID-19 contraction. “We do expect that herd immunity will quickly be formed. Therefore, the government has targeted 208 million people for vaccination,” she said.

The government has been targeting young people and the elderly for vaccination. Several strategies have been implemented, from proactively going to the elderly to raising awareness through education and awareness-raising, especially for the elderly. Nadia cited research that found that one of the main causes of the slowdown in the vaccination of the elderly was disinformation about vaccination.

This disinformation caused many people to question the function and benefits of vaccination. “We need to continue our campaign to raise people’s [health] literacy. The active roles of the family and supporting groups are also expected to help accelerate vaccination for the elderly,” she said.

While accelerating the vaccination program for senior citizens, it was expected that the people would maintain health protocol discipline as the pandemic was still far from over.

“Our fullest commitment, best efforts and cooperation are the keys to coping the pandemic. Let’s get vaccinated and maintain health protocol discipline,” Nadia said.

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