18 December 2020
The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has decided to make the Covid-19 vaccine free for all of the Indonesian citizens. This good news was delivered through an online press statement via the official Youtube channel of the Presidential Secretariat, Wednesday (16/12).
A few weeks earlier, the government decided only certain groups of people who will receive free vaccines, front-liners like medical workers, police, national army and holders of JKN cards were prioritized on getting free vaccinations. Meanwhile, many others needed to pay around IDR 200.000 to get the Sinovac vaccine package.
“After receiving a lot of public inputs and doing some deeper calculation, I convey the Covid-19 vaccination program are free for all Indonesians. Again it’s free of charge,” President said.
Furthermore, all cabinets, ministries, and related institutions were instructed to prioritize the vaccination program in the 2021 state budget plan.
At the moment, the Ministry of Finance is coordinating with the Ministry of Health in response to President Jokowi’s latest policy. “We continue to review and update on the calculation based on the latest and dynamic developments sent by the Ministry of Health,” said Director General of Budget and Finance Ministry Askolani on Wednesday (16/12).
Even though there were many concerns regarding the safety and ‘halal’ status of the vaccine products; Jokowi assures everyone to worry about nothing. All vaccines provided by the Indonesian government have passed many trial-tests and proven to be safe and effective. The President, himself is willing to get the first injection once the program started. “I will be the first recipient, being vaccinated for the first time. Hopefully, it will raise the public confidence when it comes to the safety of the vaccine,” he said.
In another forum, Wiku Adisasmito, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s coronavirus task force explained that vaccines need to be made free so that everyone has access to get vaccinated and herd immunity can be achieved sooner. This program is one of the efforts to accelerate the handling of Covid-19 in the country.
There are 1.2 million Sinovac vaccines have arrived in Indonesia. The next packages will keep coming gradually this month and early 2021.
However, it doesn’t mean that everything has already gone back to normal. Everyone are still instructed to implement health protocols strictly anywhere, anytime “Lastly, I remind people to continue being discipline on wearing mask, keep social-distancing, and wash hands regularly for the good of all of us,” said Jokowi.
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