Indonesia to Start Vaccinating Teens to Curb Covid-19 Resurgence

Indonesia will start offering Covid-19 vaccination to those aged 12 to 17 years old, after last week extending the inoculation to all adults in order to curb a worsening virus resurgence.

“The food and drug regulator has issued an emergency use of authorization for Sinovac vaccine to be applied on teens,” President Joko Widodo said in a press briefing on Monday.

Southeast Asia’s coronavirus hot spot is battling a rapid spike in coronavirus cases, with daily infections charting new peaks last week. Jokowi, as the president is known, has set a target of administering 1 million doses a day. On Monday, only about 377,000 shots were given, down from about 700,000 a day last week. The daily target will double to 2 million shots a day starting in August, Jokowi said.

With just 7% of the population inoculated, Indonesia continues to see high rates of severe illness and deaths from the disease. Hospitals across the most-populated island of Java are becoming overwhelmed, with the Covid-19 bed occupancy rate in Jakarta exceeding 90%, even as the government kept adding new beds and converting hospitals for use. More than 2.1 million Indonesian have been infected by the deadly virus and 57,561 people have died, latest data show.

The government is adding new vaccination posts and scrapping the requirement for people to receive shots only in the city or area in which they reside.

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