Indonesia says half of population has received at least 1 Covid-19 vaccine dose

More than 135.4 million people have received at least one shot.
More than 135.4 million people have received at least one shot.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesia has administered at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to half its population, reaching that benchmark after nearly a year of starting the programme.

More than 135.4 million people have received at least one shot, while 90.2 million are fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry. The population stood at 270.2 million as of the 2020 national census.

The government plans to expand booster shots, currently aimed at healthcare workers, to all adults once more than half of Indonesians are fully vaccinated. About 1.2 million booster doses have been administered so far.

The world's fourth-most populous country has lagged its South-east Asian neighbours in inoculating a majority of its people despite being among the earliest to start its vaccination programme in January.

The government has struggled to accelerate the pace of vaccination to meet its goal of about two million doses a day due to staff and logistical issues.

A shortage of healthcare workers and difficulty in reaching people spread across its thousands of islands have hampered the vaccination programme.

Indonesia has largely resolved its supply issues, now expecting to get as many as 448 million doses shipped through year-end, enough to fully vaccinate about 80 per cent of its total population.

Despite its low vaccination coverage, the country has managed to rein in its Covid-19 cases and deaths to the lowest in more than a year.

The health ministry is doing a seroprevalence survey to find out how much of the population has developed antibodies against the coronavirus either due to inoculation or exposure to the virus.