Merdeka.com – Acting Director of Health Surveillance and Quarantine of the Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Prima Yosephine, said that the government is currently working on a mechanism for the third dose of Covid-19 vaccination or booster, both free and paid. The free booster vaccination is only given to participants of the Health Social Security Administering Body (BPJS) for the Contribution Assistance Recipient (PBI) category.
Meanwhile, people outside the PBI category will be encouraged to use paid booster vaccines. However, Prima emphasized that paid booster vaccination is still only a plan.
“It’s still the plan because of course it all depends on many things that may have to be considered to decide this,” he said at a press conference, Wednesday (29/9).
Prima said, based on the plan, the implementation of booster vaccination can only be carried out if the coverage of vaccination doses one and two has reached 70 percent of the total population of Indonesia. Before carrying out the booster vaccination, the government asked for input from the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI).
“So don’t let when we think about boosters, we leave people who haven’t been able to (vaccine doses 1 and 2). That’s much more important,” he said.
Vaccine researcher Ines Atmosukarto criticized the government’s move to develop a booster Covid-19 vaccination mechanism. According to him, it is too early to discuss the mechanism of paid booster vaccination, while the national coverage for vaccination of doses one and two is still low.
Data from the Ministry of Health today at 12.00 WIB, the first dose of vaccination has only targeted 89,822,987 people from the target of 208,265,720 people. Meanwhile, the second dose of vaccination has only been given to 50,412,993 people
“For me, it’s too premature to discuss both boosters and paid vaccinations because we have to focus on covering all Indonesians first,” he said at a press conference, Wednesday (29/9).
This molecular biologist said that vaccination doses one and two in Indonesia are not evenly distributed. The achievement of the highest vaccination doses of one and two only occurred in big cities such as DKI Jakarta. While in other areas, vaccination coverage is still low.
“If we look outside Jakarta, outside Java the coverage is still far from ideal,” he said.
Ines asked the government to focus on expanding the first and second doses of vaccination in 34 provinces of Indonesia. The stock of booster vaccines that are currently available should be distributed to areas where the coverage of one dose vaccination is still low.
“This booster cannot be a broad program before most Indonesians have received doses 1 and 2 of vaccination,” he said. (mdk/fik)
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