Article by Safiya (MCA Team CIMSA 2020-2021)
Visual design by Faiz (MCA Team CIMSA 2020-2021)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an epoch of distress. Since its first outbreak in March 2020, Indonesia has up to 1.2 million total cases and more than 33 thousand deaths as of February 2021. In response to the pandemic, the Indonesian government had put in place numerous measures starting from 20th March 2020. The measures include initial responses, such as the settlement of Tim Gerak Cepat, and measures in multi-sectors. However, to end this pandemic, a roll-out of vaccines in Indonesia is needed, in line with the global roll-out as well (The Lancet, 2021).
Indonesia had begun its first COVID-19 vaccine roll-out as Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, received his first jab on Wednesday, 13th January 2021. Under its ambitious plan, Indonesia is planning to inoculate 181.5 million people in 15 months. This plan is going to be held in 4 phases:
The first phase, which began in January 2021 to April 2021, targets health workers, healthcare assistants, supporting staff, and medical students who work in healthcare facilities.
The second phase, which is held in the same period as the first phase, targets workers in public sectors and residents aged 60 or over.
The third phase, which will begin in April 2021 to March 2022, targets vulnerable people of the society in terms of their geospatial, social, and economic circumstances.
The fourth phase, which will be held in the same period as the third phase, targets the public and other economic players adopting a cluster approach in accordance with the vaccine availability.
So, in which phase is the Indonesian government now?
Quoted from the official website of Satuan Tugas Penanganan COVID-19, the number of people getting their first shots has increased 93.233 as of 24th February 2021. With that added number, 1.363.138 people had received their first jabs. The first phase targets around 1.4 million workers in the health sector. Furthermore, as of 17th February 2021, the Indonesian government had kicked off the second phase by inoculating Tanah Abang traders, which targets around 55.000 traders. This second phase targets around 16.9 million workers in public sectors and 21.5 million people aged 60 or over, with a total of 38.5 million people.
As for now, Indonesia is using vaccines produced by Sinovac and joint vaccine-production of Sinovac and Bio Farma. There are several reasons why Indonesia uses vaccines from Sinovac and Bio Farma. Honesti Basyir, the president director of Bio Farma, stated that the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac is one of the fastest vaccine candidates that has entered phase III trials. As for the manufacturing method, the vaccine uses an inactivated virus, a platform that has been proven in other types of vaccines and also has been mastered by Bio Farma. He also stated that Sinovac’s quality system has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Besides using vaccines produced by Sinovac and Sinovac-Bio Farma, the Indonesia vaccination program will also be supplied by vaccines from AstraZeneca, China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm), Moderna, Novavax Inc, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech.
In the end, vaccines alone are not sufficient for combatting the pandemic. An epidemiologist from Griffith University, Dicky Budiman, stated that the vaccination program should be accompanied by other strategies--3T (tracing, testing, and treatment) and 5M in Indonesian (wearing masks, washing hands regularly, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and reducing mobility).
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