Currently, we are still arranging the technical implementation, whether it has to be paid or through a free government program
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Spokesperson of the Health Ministry, Mohammad Syahril, stated that the mechanism for paid COVID-19 vaccination in 2023 is still under consideration by the government.

"Currently, we are still arranging the technical implementation, whether it has to be paid or through a free government program," Syahril noted during a talk show titled "The Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia" in Jakarta, Friday.

Syahril, who concurrently serves as President Director of Sulianti Saroso Hospital, stated that the COVID-19 vaccination was part of the efforts to control the pandemic amid provisions for the implementation of community activity restrictions (PPKM) that had officially ended today.

According to the spokesperson, primary dose vaccination coverage in Indonesia is already above 72 percent of the 234.66 percent of the target population that has met WHO standards.

However, the government still needs to pursue a booster vaccination, or the third dose of vaccination, since the number of recipients is still at around 27 percent.

He stated that the government had received a recommendation from the Indonesian Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) regarding the availability of vaccines for children under the age of six.

"Vaccination for toddlers has been recommended by the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) and scientists. They say that our community needs to get it," he added.

Meanwhile, vaccination for children up to the age of six still awaits technical instructions for implementation in Indonesia, he remarked.

Earlier, the government confirmed that it will not allocate a special budget for COVID-19 pandemic handling in 2023. However, the regular health budget was still projected to increase next year.

The Ministry of Finance allocated the health budget to Rp168.4 trillion, a higher increase from this year's Rp133 trillion in the 2023 State Budget Draft.

The addition of the regular health budget aims to strengthen the health system in Indonesia that focuses on realizing the transformation of the health system.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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