Indonesia to speed up vaccination as cases rise

People waiting to be vaccinated at Banda Aceh, Indonesia, yesterday. The country seeks to inoculate more than 180 million, out of its 270 million population, by March next year to reach herd immunity. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
People waiting to be vaccinated at Banda Aceh, Indonesia, yesterday. The country seeks to inoculate more than 180 million, out of its 270 million population, by March next year to reach herd immunity. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA • President Joko Widodo has ordered the acceleration of vaccine roll-outs as Indonesia faces a new surge in Covid-19 infections.

The nation's vaccination rate must increase to 700,000 doses a day this month, going up to one million daily by next month, Jokowi, as the President is known, said on Twitter yesterday.

Indonesia reported 7,725 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, its highest daily increase since Feb 26.

The government expects the spike could continue until next month after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays saw millions of Indonesians going out and travelling.

Indonesia inoculated more than 538,000 people yesterday and has administered over 40 million shots so far with the doses given to priority groups, including health workers, civil servants, the elderly and those with disabilities.

South-east Asia's largest economy seeks to inoculate more than 180 million, out of its 270 million population, by March next year to reach herd immunity.

The government has struggled to ramp up vaccination among the elderly, with the Health Ministry even offering shots to the young if they help bring in those aged 60 and older to get inoculated.

It has reached less than 17 per cent of the targeted number of elderly people since opening the programme to the age group in February.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2021, with the headline 'Indonesia to speed up vaccination as cases rise'. Subscribe