Indonesia’s Ministry of Health introduced the first five-in-one vaccine produced domestically on August 22, which is set to drive forward its National Immunisation Programme (NIP).

Speaking at the event, Minister of Health Nafsiah Mboi said the vaccine can prevent common diseases in young children, including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B (HIB).

These common diseases are responsible for 17.2 percent of child deaths in Indonesia.

The country recently widely used a three-in-one vaccine preventing diphtheria, polio and tetanus for children as part of the NIP.

The new vaccine will limit the number of injections required from children and significantly reduce the NIP’s cost to the state.

According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Health, about 87 percent of children receive routine immunisation, while others living in remote and island areas do not have easy access to the NIP.

Indonesia and India are the only countries in the region to have been certified by the World Health Oganisation (WHO) for large scale vaccine production. India has been using the five-in-one vaccine ever since 2009.-VNA