With goal of herd immunity, Indonesia will give younger people vaccines first

With goal of herd immunity, Indonesia will give younger people vaccines first

Indonesia plans to vaccinate its young working-age population against the coronavirus before its older citizens, in contrast to much of the world that’s planning on putting its vulnerable older people first.

Southeast Asia’s first country to receive delivery of COVID-19 vaccines will focus on inoculating those between 18 to 59 years of age, starting with those working on the front lines of the pandemic such as health workers, the police, and the military. The U.K. started the Western world’s earliest vaccination program with a 91-year-old woman earlier this month.

The U.S. started its vaccination program with older people this week, following its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice that healthcare workers and nursing-home residents should get shots first followed by those with pre-existing medical conditions.

As the death toll from the pandemic continues to climb, governments are grappling with the question of who should first get the many vaccines that companies are rushing through approvals. While Indonesia’s strategy currently stands apart, it may signal how other developing nations could consider their own roll-out given their struggle to procure enough doses to cover their population.