Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia on Thursday started national massive coronavirus vaccination program, targeting health workers across the country as the main priority.
The program was held a day after Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the first shot of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine, Sinovac.
The head of state claimed that he did not have any pain from the vaccine injection.
“It doesn’t hurt at all,” the president said after receiving the jab at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday (Jan. 13).
On Thursday morning a mass vaccination was held at state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Central Jakarta.
At least 25 health workers at the hospital had received first doses of the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, the hospital’s director Lies Dina Liastuti said told a press conference.
She noted that about 6,000 health workers nursing patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 at the hospital are to be vaccinated periodically.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono who received a dose of the vaccine at the hospital, said health workers get the COVID-19 vaccination since they are the COVID-19 front liners.
About 1.4 million health workers across the country will be injected gradually before inoculating public servants, he added.
According to him, immunity after vaccination would appear between two and six weeks after the injection of the second dose of vaccine.
Consequently, those having been injected with the vaccines still need to implement health protocols, he stressed, hoping that the massive vaccination program would help Indonesia get herd immunity after 70 percent of the population is vaccinated.
Indonesia plans to vaccinate about 181.5 million people, representing two thirds of the population of the largest Muslim country. The Health Ministry expects it will take 15 months to complete the program.
Reporting by Indonesia Window