Indonesia coronavirus The vaccination drive targeting younger people
Indonesia has rolled out a mass free Covid-19 vaccination programme in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus and get its economy going again.
But the country is taking a markedly different approach to others. Instead of vaccinating elderly people in the first phase, after frontline workers, it will target younger working people aged 18 to 59.
President Joko Widodo, 59, was the first person in the country to receive the vaccine shot on Wednesday. Vice-President Ma’ruf Amin, 77, will not get the jab early as he is too old.
Why target young working adults?
Professor Amin Soebandrio, who is on a board that has advised the government on its “youth first” strategy, argues that it makes sense to prioritise immunising working people – those “who go out of the house and all over the place and then at night come back home to their families”.
“We are targeting those that are likely to spread the virus,” he told BBC Indonesia.
He argues this approach will give the country the best chance of achieving herd immunity, something that occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune through vaccinations or the mass spread of a disease.