The true mammoth task of vaccinating Indonesia's entire eligible population against COVID-19 is set to begin in a few weeks, with the Health Ministry announcing that nationwide rollout of the vaccine to the general population will begin by early July at the latest.
"The vaccination of the general population in Indonesia might begin in the fourth week of June, but definitely by early July 2021," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the Health Ministry's spokeswoman for the COVID-19 mass vaccination program, said today.
Indonesia began its mass vaccination program – with fully subsidized shots – in mid-January, initially targeting 1.4 million healthcare workers. The second phase of the program, which began in March, targeted 21.5 million Indonesians over the age of 59 and 17.4 million public workers.
The upcoming third phase was supposed to target 63.9 million people considered at risk from geospatial, social, and economic standpoints. That category has now been merged with the general population over the age of 18, bringing the total to 141.3 million people, as the government seeks to boost the country's daily vaccination rate.
President Joko Widodo notably pushed for more vaccinations recently, ordering health authorities to administer shots to 1 million people each day by July.
As of the morning of June 10, 19.2 million Indonesians, or 10.58 percent of the total population, have received their first jabs, while 11.5 million, or 6.32 percent of the total population, have received their second.
Indonesia aims to inoculate 70 percent of its population of 270 million, amounting to some 181 million people, to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 by early 2022.