National Childhood Immunization Month will help to improve Indonesia’s low immunization coverage due to COVID-19

18 April 2022
A baby receives a dose of the polio vaccin
UNICEF/UN0567636/Ijazah

Jakarta, 18 April - COVID-19 has led to a significant drop in childhood immunization, leaving an estimated 800,000 children across Indonesia at greater risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella and polio. 

Coverage of complete basic immunization has dropped significantly in Indonesia since the start of the pandemic, from 84.2 per cent in 2020 to 79.6 per cent in 2021, according to the latest Ministry of Health routine data.

The recent decline in routine immunization coverage is due to a range of factors including supply-chain disruptions, lockdown measures and reduced availability of health personnel that led to the partial suspension of vaccination services at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Ministry of Health-UNICEF survey conducted in 2020 also found that half of the parents and caregivers surveyed were reluctant to bring their children to a health facility for fear of getting infected by COVID-19 or they were worried about proper health protocols not being in place.

As Indonesia works to recover lost ground due to COVID-19-related disruptions, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin encouraged parents and caregivers to bring their children who have not completed their vaccination to Puskesmas, Posyandu and other health facilities

“World Immunization Week should boost the spirit of health personnel, the public and government officials as well as development partners in the immunization programme so we can achieve our goal for healthy families,” he said.

During the upcoming national childhood immunization months – known as BIAN in Indonesian – one dose of measles-rubella immunization will be given to target groups in accordance with the recommendations set for each region, and one or more types of immunization can also be provided to complete the immunization status of children under 5 years.

Phase I of BIAN will start in May 2022 in Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua, while phase II will take place in August 2022 in Java and Bali.

A series of safety guidelines and measures are available and health workers have been trained to ensure that families can safely bring their children to health facilities for vaccinations. 

"We urge all parents to check their children’s immunization cards to ensure they are up to date with all their vaccines. No child should suffer from serious illness that can be prevented by vaccines,” said UNICEF Robert Gass, UNICEF Representative a.i.

Globally, vaccines save more than five lives every minute – preventing up to three million deaths a year, making vaccines among one of the most significant advances in global health and development. Vaccinated children are not only healthier – they do better at school, resulting in economic benefits that affect entire communities.

“Vaccines approved by WHO are safe and scientifically proven to be effective in preventing diseases such as measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, and tetanus. Without all these vaccines, your children may unnecessarily suffer these dangerous diseases, and some may die,” said WHO Representative to Indonesia, Dr N. Paranietharan.

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Media contacts

Kinanti Pinta Karana
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Indonesia
Tel: +62 8158805842
WHO Communications Team

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For more information about WHO and its work in Indonesia, visit www.who.int/indonesia