Tech & Science Opinion: The economy has priority when vaccinating in Indonesia
Israel vaccinates 16 to 18-year-olds ahead of exams
Israel has vaccinated more than a quarter of its population and now high school students are eligible.More than a quarter of Israel's population of nine million have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine since 19 December, its health ministry says.
In the fight against the coronavirus, the Indonesian government hopes with the vaccination principle "young before old" that above all a quick economic upswing will save lives, says Vidi Legowo-Zipperer.
In Germany, anwas the first person to speak out against Corona was vaccinated. In the UK it was , in Canada it was an 89 year old. In Indonesia, on the other hand, my 92-year-old grandmother will probably be one of the last in line.
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Medical professionals warn hospitals overwhelmed amid lack of ICU beds and shortage of healthcare workers.For the past six months, the intensive care unit (ICU) at her hospital in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, has been operating at between 90 to 100 percent capacity as coronavirus infections surge.
In December, the Indonesian government announced that its vaccination schedule puts medical staff at the forefront of the fight against the virus and public servants. Workers between the ages of 18 and 59 have priority, vaccinations for the elderly come later.
One month later,to be vaccinated against Corona in Indonesia. At 59, he was just young enough. At 77, his deputy Ma'ruf Amin is too old to be vaccinated early.
Young before old?
Indonesia's vaccination strategy raised questions around the world - because it is the opposite of the approach taken by many other countries. Senior health care workers answered them as follows: They are concerned that the vaccine from the Chinese manufacturer Sinovac could harm the elderly. Because in the final study in Indonesia no subjects over 60 years of age were used.
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© Pixabay.com Spain lacks Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination stopped in Madrid! Vaccination campaigns are running out of steam in Spain, or even stalling in some cities, for lack of sufficient stocks of Covid-19 vaccines. Halt to the vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 in Spain. Madrid has decided to stop injecting first doses, while other regions are struggling to vaccinate, against the backdrop of delays in deliveries to Europe.
In addition, those responsible hope that herd immunity will be achieved quickly if the younger ones get vaccinated first. More than 70 percent of the 270 million people living in Indonesia are between 15 and 64 years old.growth at any cost?
But is herd immunity the real reason for Indonesia's unconventional vaccination schedule? Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health's corona vaccination program, told DW that there was the highest infection rate among younger people - albeit in combination with a low mortality rate. People over 60 make up only a small proportion of the total population in Indonesia, but at the same time 46 percent of the COVID-19 deaths.
The younger age group plays "an important role in economic activities for the benefit of families," said Tarmizi. "They keep the economy going, that's why we give 18 to 59-year-olds preference for vaccination." The economy is the key word in this statement.
Indonesia: Lessons from the online classroom
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world’s deep inequalities – nowhere more than in education.In Indonesia, the lives of some 68 million young people – from pre-schoolers to higher education students – have been affected by COVID-19 over the last year, according to the Jakarta office of UNICEF.
President Widodo has often said he wanted to advance Indonesia's economy, and his target is seven percent growth. In his first term of office he was always below. Now, in his second term in office, he finally wanted to achieve the goal - but then Corona came.
In November 2020, Indonesia's economy slid into recession for the first time in two decades. Because already in the third quarter it had shrunk by 3.49 percent compared to the same month last year. Almost every sector suffered from the increasing number of corona cases.
More fear of job loss than Corona
The decision to prioritize the workforce in the sequence of vaccinations is a sign of how badly the Indonesian government wants to reverse the economic trend. The plan would have sparked controversy in many other countries, but most Indonesians are behind the idea. For many, the fear of losing their job is stronger than that of contracting COVID-19.
In October, Widodo defended its decision not to impose lockdowns on cities or provinces where case numbers have exploded. The argument was that the negative income impact would harm people as well. "Putting health first does not mean that we sacrifice the economy. Because that would mean sacrificing the lives of tens of thousands of people," the president said at the time.
Only with time will it become clear whether the unorthodox vaccination strategy works as the government hopes. And even if it does so, will the economic recovery that ensues provide enough comfort to the thousands of Indonesians who have lost elderly relatives to the pandemic?
adaptation from English: David Ehl
Author: Vidi Legowo-Zipperer
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Indonesia's national coronavirus caseload continues to rise past 1 million, but one mountain tribe which protects their reclusive neighbours from the outside world have so far helped keep COVID out of their communities.The country hit 1 million COVID-19 cases at the end of last month, almost two weeks after the vaccine developed by China's CoronaVac was rolled out.