Triyan Pangastuti, Jakarta – Indonesia is set to join a group of only a few countries who have administered more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in coming days, a government official said on Monday.
The country has been averaging around 1 million doses since the first day of August but the more ambitious target of ramping up vaccination to 2 million doses per day was hindered by low supplies and distribution issues.
"Vaccination drive in Indonesia has reached 96.5 million doses and the health minister promised that the figure would top 100 million this week," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in a hearing with lawmakers.
She said global epidemiologists and experts expected that Covid-19 could become an endemic disease, adding urgency to the need for more people to get vaccinated and protected.
"Everybody says this pandemic is transitioning to endemicity and it's up to how any country manages this. We need to understand the factors that lead to an endemic and how to minimize the loss of lives," Sri Mulyani said.
Of the 208 million target population, 30 percent have received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the Health Ministry vaccination dashboard updated on Monday.
The government still aims to ramp up vaccination to 2 million doses per day in September, when 80 million doses are expected to arrive from government purchase and international donation.
"We will get a relatively big amount of vaccines in our supplies," the minister said.
Citizens above 60 years old remain target population for the national vaccination campaign because they are more susceptible to severe effects of Covid-19 infections, she said.
Mass vaccination campaign is also expanded to younger population so that schools can reopen safely, she said.
"The vaccination drive is accelerated and expanded to allow economic activities. We expect to recover and rebound this year," Sri Mulyani said.
According to global research publication Our World in Data, only six countries have managed to deliver 100 million jabs of Covid-19 vaccine to date, including China, India, the United States, Brazil, Japan and Germany.