Indonesia receives 162nd batch of vaccines

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The Indonesian government has received 482 thousand doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in finished form as part of the 162nd vaccine shipment.

The vaccines were obtained through a donation from COVAX to meet the vaccine needs in the country, the Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Usman Kansong, said in a statement here on Monday.

"The smooth arrival of vaccines has helped accelerate and expand the vaccination coverage in Indonesia," he added.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had asked for immediate distribution of newly arrived vaccines to regions across Indonesia in an effort to expedite COVID-19 vaccinations.

In addition to guaranteeing the availability of vaccine stocks and efforts to accelerate vaccinations, the government has also continued to educate the public on vaccinations, Kansong said.

The education is specifically being given to those who are doubtful and reluctant to receive the vaccine, he added.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a protection against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has mutated several times, Kansong said.

Vaccinations are crucial for protecting people and the nation from the threat of COVID-19, he added.

Vaccinations are also the fastest way to establish herd immunity in Indonesia and to help it quickly emerge from the pandemic that has lasted for almost two years, he added.

"The vaccination program has been going on for almost a year, and we are on the right track by continuing to secure vaccine stocks for the needs of Indonesian citizens," he noted.

Kansong asked the public to get vaccinated without delay to reduce the risk of serious illness from the virus.

Based on the government's observations on the field, there is currently a phenomenon of people delaying vaccinations because they are picky about vaccine brands, he said. This behavior has hampered efforts to accelerate vaccinations, he added.

Currently, there are 11 brands of COVID-19 vaccines that have received emergency use permits from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), he noted.

The government has urged the public not to be picky about vaccine brands because all vaccines provided by the government are equally safe and efficacious, he said.

"Do not take the risk by assuming the pandemic has ended. And please, always implement the health protocols," he remarked.

Regarding the Omicron case that has been found in Indonesia, he asked the public to stay calm but vigilant while complying with the health protocols and following the government's advice.

"As directed by President Jokowi, the emergence of Omicron variant has reminded us to always implement the health protocols and immediately receive vaccination for those who have not," he noted.

Source: Antara News