"After receiving many inputs from the public and making re-calculation, and re-calculating the state financial standing, I can confirm that the COVID-19 vaccine would be offered free of charge to the public," Jokowi stated during a press conference aired by the Presidential Secretariat.
The head of state has instructed ministries and state institutions as well as local governments to accord priority to the vaccination program in the 2021 budget.
The president also instructed Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati to prioritize and re-divert funding from other sectors for offering free vaccination.
"Hence, there is no reason for the public to not get the vaccine," Jokowi emphasized.
The 1.2 million vaccines recently procured by the government will be prioritized for groups that are most at risk of contracting COVID-19, especially medical personnel, Dr Masdalina Pane from the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) revealed recently.
The next group to be prioritized during vaccination are individuals providing services to the community and thereafter highly mobile people.
Pane made a public appeal to always exercise discipline in implementing the 3M protocols of wearing masks, washing hands with soap, maintaining distance, and avoiding crowds to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, is not expected to disappear any time soon. Hence, by applying the 3M protocols, communities will be able to conduct activities while continuing to co-exist with COVID-19, Masdalina noted. Related news: Vaccination can halt COVID-19 spread in Indonesia: IDI
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