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Jakarta Post

West Java needs over 70 million COVID-19 doses to vaccinate majority of residents

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Bandung   /   Mon, October 26, 2020   /   06:19 pm
West Java needs over 70 million COVID-19 doses to vaccinate majority of residents West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil (right) supervises a healthcare worker conducting a simulation for a future COVID-19 vaccination program at Puskesmas Tapos community health center in Depok, West Java on Oct. 22, 2020. (Antara/Asprilla Dwi Adha)

The West Java Health Agency has said the province will need at least 72 million doses to vaccinate 36 million residents aged between 18 and 59 in a future vaccination program.

The country is seeking ways to make possible a first round of COVID-19 vaccination in November and December.

The head of the agency’s health service, Marion Siagian, said that aiming for the 36 million residents was part of the province’s main strategy, based on limited potential vaccine procurement in the future. In the meantime, West Java has a population of almost 50 million.

The strategy Marion referred to was in regard to the central government’s plan to buy vaccines in the first phase to be given to 9.1 million people nationwide. With such a budget, West Java has proposed a portion to be able to vaccinate 3 million people. 

In line with that, West Java decided to act quickly by setting up a vaccination mechanism, including in hosting a simulation held at Puskesmas Tapos community health center in Depok on Thursday.

“We’re still waiting for further technical guidance from the central government on vaccination for those who are aged 60 or above, as well as those who are aged 18 or under,” Marion said in a statement on Friday.

In regard to the government’s vaccination priority list, which is aimed at healthcare workers and personnel of National Police and Indonesian Military, Marion said that West Java needed 315,564 vaccine doses for 157,782 people. 

“As for public service officers, we need at least 190,496 doses for 95,248 people. Nevertheless, we continue to update the count in order to make sure that those who are on the priority list get the shot,” he added.

For the future vaccination, West Java currently has 1,094 trained vaccinators and plans to add more. Meanwhile for healthcare services, the province has a total of 85,000 workers.

Once the vaccines are available, they will need to be stored in cold storage at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. Marion said the agency was continuing to assess the use of the cold storage units in all health facilities in the province.

“Vaccines need to be properly stored prior to being injected into human bodies, hence the cold storage. To assure that treatment, we have to ensure the readiness of the storage units in the health facilities,” he said, adding that out of a total 354 cold storage units in place, 51 were broken. 

In Thursday’s vaccination simulation, West Java Governor and COVID-19 handling committee head Ridwan Kamil said the first injections would likely be centered in Bogor city and Bogor regency, Depok city as well as Bekasi city and Bekasi regency as the regions with the most COVID-19 cases.

In those regions, the administrations have 312 vaccinators so far, but plan to add more.

As of Monday, West Java had seen a total of 34,355 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 23,585 recoveries and 694 fatalities.

Indonesia has forged cooperation with several countries regarding the supply of potential vaccines. China’s Sinovac Biotech, in partnership with Bio Farma, is running late-stage human trials of a candidate vaccine in Bandung, West Java. (nkn/adi)