JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Indonesia started COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers and education sector workers on Wednesday.

The country is aiming to inoculate 5 million teachers by June, President Joko Widodo said during a visit to see vaccination campaign at a high school in the capital Jakarta.

“We are giving priority to education sector workers and teachers so that in-person classes can resume when the second semester begins,” he said.

Some 646,000 schools in Indonesia were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 68 million students taking online classes.

Since January, the government has started allowing a limited number of students to resume in-person classes in areas with lower virus transmission risk.

More than 1.1 million health workers, part of an initial target of 1.5 million, have received COVID-19 shots since Indonesia launched its vaccination drive on Jan. 13.

The second phase of the inoculation drive targeting over 38 million public sector workers and the elderly was launched last week.

The government aims to immunize 16.9 million workers and 21.5 million people aged 60 or above by May.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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