Ministry targets to inoculate 300,000 MSME players

Ministry targets to inoculate 300,000 MSME players

Hanung Harimba Rachman from the Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry and East Java Governor open a vaccination center for MSME players in Surabaya, East Java. (ANTARA/HO-Kemenkop UKM/MY)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry has said it is seeking to vaccinate 300 thousand MSME players in East Java as part of the national economic recovery program.

The key to economic and health recovery is vaccination so that business players, especially MSMEs, can propel the economic sector once more, the ministry's Deputy for SME Hanung Harimba Rachman said in a written statement received in Jakarta on Saturday.

"In the initial stage, we will provide 50 thousand vaccines. We have also issued a request to the Health Ministry for extra 250 thousand vaccines for SMEs, retailers, and their ecosystems in East Java, so we are aiming for 300 thousand vaccines," Rachman informed.

Vaccinations are important to overcome the pandemic, he said adding, though vaccines cannot prevent infections one hundred percent, they can provide our bodies resistance to infection.

"By getting vaccinated, MSME actors are also expected to be more comfortable in trading with lower risk of transmission. But keep in mind that health protocols must be carried out," Rachman said.

The government has allocated 535 thousand vaccine doses for MSME players across several cities, he added.

"From the doses of vaccines that have been provided, we hope that it will continue to be added in the future, so that the government's target to establish herd immunity can be achieved. In addition, I also urge that, even though the pandemic is not over, the community, especially MSME players, must be able to survive and even grow so that our economy can recover soon," he urged.

Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa lauded the immunization initiative, saying she was optimistic the establishment of vaccination centers for MSME players in the province will help expand vaccine coverage.

"This is the spirit for us to realize the acceleration of herd immunity. There are two upstreams to COVID-19 handling, the most important thing is accelerated vaccination, the second is stricter health protocols. These two points are the gates to whether economic activities, social activities, religious activities, and activities in many places can operate normally again," he explained.

According to general chairperson of the Indonesian Shopping Center Tenants Association (Hippindo), Budiharjo Iduansjah, vaccination centers spread across several areas are part of a joint effort of the Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry and Hippindo to help improve the economy.

It is expected that after vaccinations, MSME actors can immediately aid national economic recovery, he added.

"Vaccines are a national investment that are being given free of charge to the public and must be utilized, so that the transmission (of coronavirus) can immediately decline and the economy can recover quickly," Iduansjah remarked.

The Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry is collaborating with Hippindo, the East Java provincial government, the TNI, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), and the East Java Entrepreneurs Association Communication Forum (Forkas) for the vaccination program for MSME players.

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