Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto confirmed that all TNI personnel will participate in the government's COVID-19 vaccination program, officially commenced on Wednesday.

"This morning, I received a COVID-19 vaccine shot. I am optimistic that all TNI personnel and community members would be part of it and make the vaccination program successful," he told journalists at the State Palace here, Wednesday.

Indonesia officially kicked off the COVID-19 vaccination program on Wednesday, and President Joko Widodo was among the first recipients of the vaccine shots.

Tjahjanto highlighted the importance of the vaccination program for Indonesia to free it from the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has gripped various parts of the world since the end of 2019.

"Hence, please make our vaccination program a success to enable us to be freed from the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible," he emphasized.

Following the first COVID-19 vaccine shots for President Widodo, TNI Commander, and several other important figures on Wednesday, regional leaders and health workers are scheduled to be inoculated on Thursday.

In connection with this vaccination program, the Indonesian Ulema Council had recently issued its fatwa, or decision on the halal status of China's Sinovac vaccine.

Indonesia's Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) had also issued an emergency-use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine, so that the government can commence its vaccination program.

The Health Ministry revealed earlier that it would take 15 months to vaccinate about 181.5 million people under the national COVID-19 vaccination program.

"We need 15 months to accomplish it. The time frame for conducting the vaccination is counted from January 2021 to March 2022," the Health Ministry's spokesperson for the vaccination program, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated recently.

During the period, the government is targeting to inoculate some 181.5 million people, including 1.3 million paramedics and 17.4 million public sector workers in 34 provinces, she informed.

Tarmizi noted that the first phase of the government's immunization program will be divided into two periods: January-April, 2021 and April, 2021-March, 2022.
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Translator: Indra AP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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