Indonesia

Indonesia to roll out booster vaccine doses amid rise in Omicron cases

FILE PHOTO: Flickr/Asian Development Bank

Health officials in Indonesia will begin the rollout of booster vaccine doses as the Omicron variant spreads in the country. According to a Reuters report, the Indonesian health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin says booster doses will be administered to the general public from January 12.

Health workers in the country already received booster doses in July and the programme is now being extended to adults who received their second vaccine dose more than 6 months ago. According to Budi, around 21 million Indonesians will be eligible for booster doses this month.

Indonesia had to contend with a devastating second wave of the virus in July but since then, infection rates have been dropping. However, the country has now reported over 150 cases of the highly-contagious Omicron variant, most of whom are in international travellers, according to Reuters. Indonesia recently added Denmark, Norway, and the UK to its list of high-risk countries, banning arrivals from those places as a result of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. It also extended the quarantine period for all arrivals to 14 days.

Meanwhile, 6 Omicron cases have been confirmed as community transmission cases and have been reported in the capital Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and on the island of Bali. Around 42% of Indonesia’s population of 270 million is fully vaccinated, with vaccines from Sinovac, Pfizer_BioNTech, and Moderna. According to Budi, the country needs around 230 million doses to administer as booster and has obtained nearly half that number.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Maya Taylor

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