The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has campaigned for the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine amid rejection of it in several regions.
“This is for the good of the society, our children and our youth in the future,” he said on Saturday in Sukoharjo, Central Java, as quoted by kompas.com.
The President's words came in the wake of resistance against the campaign in predominantly Muslim regions across the country, following an edict from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) edict last month. On Aug. 20, the MUI said the MR vaccine was mubah (permitted for Muslims) even though it contains porcine-derived gelatin and permitted Muslims to use the vaccine until a halal one is made.
The government started its second phase of the MR vaccination campaign for children outside Java Island, targeting that 95 percent of children aged 9 months to under 15 years receive the vaccine.
With only two weeks left before the campaign ends on Sept. 30, the Health Ministry recorded that the nation’s average coverage rate was at 47.37 percent as of Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, the average coverage rate in Aceh is 7.01 percent, far lower than the 95 percent target. The provinces with the second and third lowest coverage rates are Riau and West Sumatra with 22.52 percent and 24.26 percent respectively.
The Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Anung Sugihantono, recently told The Jakarta Post that the ministry was looking to extend the campaign period because of the low vaccination coverage rate in some provinces. (sau)