JAKARTA—Indonesia will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged between 6–11 on Tuesday, a health ministry official said, as the Southeast Asian country becomes one of the first in the region to inoculate the very young.
Indonesia approved China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine for the age group last month and about 26.5 million children have been targeted for vaccination, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, a senior health ministry official, told a briefing.
The Sinovac vaccine is the only shot approved for children in Indonesia and Maxi said from next year authorities would restrict its use only for this age group.
“This is being done to accelerate vaccinating everyone in Indonesia,” Maxi said in comments made on Sunday, noting vaccinations of 6–11 year olds will start in the Greater Jakarta area.
In Asia, China has already started vaccinating children aged three and above, while Cambodia administered its first vaccines for children aged 6–12 in September. Singapore said last week it would start vaccinating children aged 5–11 before the end of this year.
Indonesia has fully vaccinated about 38 percent of its total population of 270 million people.
Indonesia also uses the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and AstraZeneca vaccines.