Jokowi gets second Sinovac shot as cases surge past one million in Indonesia

President Joko Widodo receiving the second dose of vaccine at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, on Jan 27, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG/XINHUA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday (Jan 27), one day after the country registered more than one million infections.

"Like two weeks ago, it is no pain," Mr Widodo said after the vaccine was injected.

Nearly 250,000 healthcare workers have been given the first shot since the programme started two weeks ago. The government is targeting the number to increase to between 900,000 and one million daily, Mr Widodo, known as Jokowi, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr Widodo received his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 13.

The Indonesian Covid-19 Task Force's spokesman Reisa Broto Asmoro said the first dose is aimed at introducing the vaccine to the immune system, while the second dose is to strengthen the immune response that has been formed beforehand.

"These antibodies will be optimal in 14-28 days after the second injection," Mr Asmoro added.

Indonesia has set a target of giving the Covid-19 vaccine to 181.5 million people until next year to create herd immunity and end the pandemic.

The first period of vaccination is carried out from January to April 2021, for inoculating 1.3 million medical workers, 17.4 million public workers, and 21.5 million elderly people.

The second period will run from April 2021 to March 2022 to administer the vaccine to 63.9 million vulnerable people and 77.4 million others.

South-east Asia's largest economy added 13,094 new cases in the 24 hours through midday on Tuesday, taking the total to 1,012,350, the worst in the region. Some 336 people died and 10,868 recovered from the disease over the same period, the government said.

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