Jakarta – Indonesia is distributing the recently arrived 453,960 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to seven provinces in Kalimantan and Sumatra.
Among them are West Kalimantan (Pontianak), North Kalimantan via Berau, East Kalimantan (Samarinda), Central Kalimantan (Palangkaraya), according to the Health Ministry's vaccination spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi.
The list also includes West Sumatra (Padang), South Sumatra (Palembang), and Bangka Belitung (Pangkal Pinang).
The recent Pfizer shots landed in Jakarta on October 1. Its shipment marks the 81st phase of Covid-19 vaccine arrival in Indonesia.
"After the transit in Jakarta, we immediately sent off the vaccines to seven provinces in Indonesia. Throughout the entire process, the Pfizer vaccines traveled in a cold chain with the temperature kept under -70 degrees celsius to maintain their quality," Nadia said in a recent statement.
The government is making every effort to speed up the vaccine distribution to all regions in the archipelago, including the remote areas.
"Hopefully, this effort will encourage the local governments, especially those with a low vaccination rate, to boost and expand the vaccination program," Nadia said.
According to Nadia, a number of regions are still lagging behind in vaccination. She then urged the local governments to come up with a strategy to tackle any hindrances to the vaccine rollout.
Local governments must also step up their vaccine education efforts, for instance, by involving regional leaders and public figures. Such move is necessary to raise the public awareness of Covid-19 dangers, as well as the importance of getting the vaccine.
"Disinformation or hoaxes about vaccines and vaccinations are still around. So we urge the public to filter all information they have received. Do not believe them right away or even share them," Nadia said.
The continuous vaccine arrivals indicate that Indonesia has sufficient vaccine supplies. The government remains conident that Indonesia can vaccinate 70 percent of its target population by the end of 2021, according to Nadia.
Indonesia is also among the top 10 countries with the highest vaccination rate. Even so, we cannot risk vaccination complacency, she said.
"The government is calling everyone to get their Covid-19 jab as soon as possible. There is no need to be picky about the vaccine. All vaccines are safe and effective," Nadia said.
Nadia also reminded the public to continue to observe the preventive health protocols, as the vaccine is not the only defense against Covid-19.
"We are grateful that Indonesia earns global praise for its speed in lowering the virus transmission, but also in carrying out the vaccination program," Nadia said.
"The praises from different parties show that Indonesia is already on the right track. However, we still need to ramp up and optimize [our efforts] with everyone's support and role."