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Health Ministry says Indonesia at high risk of poliovirus spread

Tempo - November 20, 2022

Jakarta (Antara) – Dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, DHSM., MARS, director general of disease prevention and control at the Health Ministry, stated that Indonesia has a high risk of poliovirus spread due to low polio vaccination coverage.

"If we look at 30 provinces and 415 districts and cities, they all fall into the criteria of high risk because their polio vaccination coverage is low. So, Indonesia runs a high risk of polio extraordinary occurrence (KLB)," he said at an online press conference, which was followed from Jakarta on Saturday.

Indonesia is currently using a bivalent oral polio vaccine (BOPV) for polio immunization, he noted. The oral vaccine, which is used to prevent type 1 and 2 polioviruses, needs to be administered four times at an interval of four months.

The vaccine then needs to be administered in combination with the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in the form of an injection. A booster vaccine needs to be provided to children at the age of 9 months along with the measles or rubella vaccine, he informed.

However, OPV4 and IPV vaccination coverage is relatively low. In 2020, the vaccination coverage stood at 86.8 percent for OPV4 and 37.7 percent for IPV. In 2021, OPV4 coverage fell to 80.2 percent, while IPV coverage rose to 66.2 percent.

Therefore, the government must work hard to achieve the target of the child immunization program, he added.

He said a polio case was detected in Aceh in November 2022 because the OPV4 and IPV polio vaccination programs did not work for four consecutive years in districts and cities in the province.

The active involvement of the Family Welfare Movement (PKK) and regional governments will increase polio immunization coverage, he added.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1659090/health-ministry-says-indonesia-at-high-risk-of-poliovirus-spread