A Cabinet minister has announced that Indonesia will start providing boosters shots of COVID-19 by early next year.
JAKARTA — Targeting 208 million of its 270 million population, about 33 million have been fully vaccinated.
“If all of (the targeted population) have been fully vaccinated by January, the booster for the general public can start immediately after that,” health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a hearing with parliamentarians aired on social media.
He added, “The booster has been clinically proven effective to give better protection from COVID-19.”
The country has been giving booster shots to medical workers, as they have been most exposed to the coronavirus. Although medical workers had their first and second doses of the CoronaVac by Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac Biotech Ltd., the third jabs administered since July had been the Moderna vaccine. As of 26 August, 34 percent of 1.47 million medical workers given the jabs.
According to health minister Sadikin, boosters for low-income recipients of government health insurance will be covered. Costing around $7 to $8, others will have to pay for theirs.
Earlier, the World Health Organization has called for halting the use of coronavirus booster shots until the end of September. The move is to help ensure that developing countries will have access to vaccines, as some have not secured doses for their medical workers yet.
Meanwhile, Indonesia has exceeded 4 million coronavirus infections with fatalities almost 130,000 as of Wednesday. (RA/JuanManila)