The country which has decided to vaccinate young people as a priority – © Infos-Israel.News

The vaccination campaign launched by Indonesia includes a controversial strategy, which is fundamentally different from most countries in the world: instead of vaccinating the elderly immediately after the medical staff, this country has decided to vaccinate the working population. , citizens aged 18 to 59.

The policy applies to all citizens, down to leaders. For example, President Joko Widudo, 59, was the first person in the country to receive the vaccine dose today (Wednesday). In contrast, vice-president Marin Amin, 77, will have to wait in light of his advanced age.

The concept behind the unique vaccination strategy is to say that it is fair to prioritize people who are in the workforce, “who leave their homes, walk around and come home to their families at night, we are targeting those who can spread the virus, ”Professor Amin Subendrio, who advises the Indonesian BBC.

He says this policy will improve the country’s chances of achieving collective immunity. “This is the long-term goal,” said Prof Subendrio. “Or at least dramatically reduce the spread of the virus so that the epidemic is under control and we can restart the economy.” “

Indonesia has a population of around 270 million, and the total number of infected people is the highest among countries in Southeast Asia. According to government data, 80% of cases concern the working population. While schools and ministries have been closed for nearly a year, the government has opposed a complete shutdown, fearing an impact on the country’s economy. More than half of the population works in the informal sector, so for many, working from home is not an option.

Minister of State for Health Body Guandy defended the strategy, insisting it was not just economic considerations, but “deliberate protection of those susceptible to infection.” Guandy added, “We focus on those who have to meet many people in the course of their work; taxi, police, army. I don’t want people to think it’s just an economy – it’s about protecting people. “

And what about the elderly?

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According to the Indonesian government, at some point, they too will receive protection from the virus. The perception, however, is that if most household members are vaccinated, corona will not reach homes and the elderly will not infect loved ones. “Thanks to people aged 18 to 59, we also offer some protection to the older people they live with,” said Dr City Nadia Tarmitsi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

“The reason Britain didn’t go for the younger population is, of course, first of all, that they don’t have serious illness, and we haven’t been in it yet. able to prove that vaccines affect infection, ”said Professor Robert Reid, member of the UK Health System’s vaccination advisory committee. According to him, Indonesia will need a very large quantity of vaccines to succeed in its mission, and will have to vaccinate at least 50% of the population.

Another reason Indonesia has adopted this unique strategy is that the main vaccine it uses, “” CoronaVac from the Chinese company Sinovac “” has not yet been tested in the elderly, and has until now received 3 million of the 125 million doses promised. In Indonesia, it is claimed that in China the vaccine has reached an efficacy of 65.3% – but the government has only tested it in the 18-59 age group.

The Indonesian strategy is accepted in different ways within the scientific community, but there are also those who support the decision. Peter Colnion, professor of infectious diseases in Australia, said: “We don’t know it will work” but added that it made sense to change policy depending on the circumstances of the country. “When it comes to a developing country, I can see how protecting the workforce, those who spread the virus, is a reasonable method, because you can’t really tell people to stay home. “


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