INDONESIA: Disruption to Routine Vaccinations Poses Serious Threat to Children, warns Save the Children

A rise in infectious disease ‘is the last thing Indonesia needs,’ agency warns

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 26, 2021)—Disruptions to routine childhood vaccinations due to COVID-19 pose a serious risk to hundreds of thousands of children at a time when Indonesia’s health system is already on its knees with the country becoming the new epicenter of the pandemic, Save the Children warned today.  

Some 800,000 Indonesian children missed out on routine vaccinations last year due to the pandemic, a 40 percent increase on the previous year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. 

Indonesia last week reported the highest number of new COVID infections in the world.

Dino Satria – Chief of Humanitarian and Resilience at Save the Children Indonesia said:  

“Hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated children in Indonesia now have no defense against major infectious diseases like measles, which is a major threat to their survival and creates the perfect storm for another major health emergency.  

“At a time when the country is already struggling to get control of COVID-19, a major infectious disease outbreak is the last thing Indonesia needs. It’s critical that we vaccinate our population as soon as possible, to reduce the burden on our health system so that routine vaccinations are able to resume.”  

Dr. Yasir Arafat, Health and Nutrition Advisor for Save the Children in Asia, said:  

“Children were once the hidden victims of the COVID-19 crisis, but that is no longer the case. We’re seeing an alarming rise in children missing out on routine vaccinations across Asia, which puts hundreds of thousands of lives at risk and threatens to undo much of the progress that has been made on increasing childhood survival. 

“It is clear that, for children, the devastation of the past year will be felt long after the pandemic.”

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