Although vaccinations are being conducted, I would like to again remind of the importance of discipline towards implementing health protocols
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged Indonesians to always bear in mind to implement health protocols strictly despite the COVID-19 vaccination program having commenced on Wednesday.

"Although vaccinations are being conducted, I would like to again remind of the importance of discipline towards implementing health protocols. We still have to wear masks, wash our hands, and keep our distance, as well as avoid crowds," President Jokowi remarked here on Wednesday.

Jokowi received the country's first vaccine shot at the Merdeka Palace. Deputy Chief of the Presidential Medical Team Abdul Muthalib injected the Sinovac vaccine.

"After we have conducted this initial inoculation, vaccinations will be continued in all provinces, districts, and cities throughout the country," Jokowi affirmed.

The Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) granted emergency-use authorization for the Sinovac vaccine. Moreover, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a halal fatwa for the vaccine.

"The COVID-19 vaccination is important for us to break the chain of coronavirus transmission and provide health protection and security for all of us, the people of Indonesia, and to help accelerate economic recovery," the president remarked.

President Jokowi also took the time to thank his vaccinator.

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Several other officials also receiving the vaccine jab along with the president comprised Chairman of the Indonesian Doctors’ Association (IDI) Daeng M. Faqih, MUI Secretary General Amiesyah Tambunan, Rais Syuriah Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) K. H. Ahmad Ishomuddin, Commander of the TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, National Police Chief Idham Azis, and celebrity Raffi Ahmad.

During the second session, vaccine shots were also administered to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, General Chairman of the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) Unifah Risyidin, representative of the Association of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) Ronal Tapilatu, representative of KWI (Catholic) Agustinus Heri, representative of PDHI (Hindu) I Nyoman Suarthanu, representatives from Permabudhi (Buddha) Partono Bhikkhu N. M, and representatives from Matakin (Confucius) Peter Lesmana.

Vaccine recipients in the third session constituted BPOM Head Penny Kusumastuti, General Chair of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Roeslani Perkasa, Secretary General of the Indonesian Midwives Association Ade Zubaedah, nurse Nur Fauzah, pharmacist Lusy Noviani, worker Agustini Setiyorini, vendor Narti, spokesperson for the Task Force for COVID-19 Handling Wiku Adisasmito, and vaccination spokesperson Reisa Broto Asmoro.

The BPOM granted EUA for the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac on Monday (Jan 11).

The agency affirmed that based on data of the third stage of clinical trials in Bandung, the Sinovac vaccine was found to be 65.3-percent effective, thereby meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) threshold of 50 percent.

On Friday, (Jan 8), the MUI had stated that the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac was clean and halal.

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Translator: Desca LN, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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