Indonesia to start Covid-19 boosters after 50% of public vaccinated

Indonesia has inoculated 29 per cent of its population of 270 million people. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia plans to give Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to the public after 50 per cent of its population has been fully vaccinated, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Monday (Nov 8).

He expects this to happen at the end of next month.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country and once Asia's Covid-19 epicentre, has inoculated 29 per cent of its population of 270 million people using a variety of vaccine brands.

Mr Budi told a parliamentary hearing that the government decided on boosters at the 50 per cent mark because of vaccine inequity concerns at home or abroad.

"Issues of injustice or ethics are so high in the world because some countries haven't gotten a lot of first shots," he said.

The booster shots will be given free, with Mr Budi saying that the plan prioritises the elderly and the poor who are insured by the government, while the rest of the population may have to pay for them.

Many health workers have already received boosters.

Australia began giving boosters on Monday, while Britain and Germany have also agreed to give them.

Thailand has given booster shots to recipients of the Sinovac vaccine over concerns about resistance to the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.