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Vaccination Rate among Older Adults Still Low in 5 Provinces: Ministry

The COVID-19 vaccination rate among older adults in five Indonesian provinces is still very low, the Ministry of Health has said.

“The data shows that there are several provinces that still have very low vaccination rates among the older adult group, namely the provinces of Aceh, West Sumatra, North Maluku, West Sulawesi, and Papua,” Health Ministry’s spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinations, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said while delivering a virtual press statement, monitored from here on Friday.

The spokesperson assured that all COVID-19 vaccines currently being used in the country’s vaccination program have been proven to be effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms and deaths.

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According to her, vaccinations need to be improved among older adults as this group has a higher mortality rate compared to younger age groups.

To increase older adults’ participation in vaccination, a strategy needs to be formulated according to the conditions of each region by involving all elements of society, including the National Defense Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian Police (Polri), she suggested.

Vaccines that have been distributed to regions must be immediately administered in accordance with the target group of each type of vaccine, she added.

“The key to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating vaccination,” she remarked.

On a separate occasion, the spokesperson had suggested that older adults be accompanied by their families while receiving the vaccine so that they feel safe and comfortable.

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To stem the spread of COVID-19 and build herd immunity, the Indonesian government launched its nationwide vaccination program on January 13, 2021, with President Joko Widodo becoming the country’s first vaccine recipient.

According to Health Ministry’s data, as of August 13, 2021, as many as 53,291,307 citizens have received the first vaccine dose and 27,362,915 citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (drt)

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