JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian government’s plan to begin nationwide Covid-19 inoculation by the middle of November is facing possible delays due to bureaucratic procedures.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said President Joko Widodo conveyed his concerns about the delays.
“The National Agency of Drug and Food Control [ BPOM] could not issue the Emergency Use Authorization letter needed to issue the vaccines because they need to comply with the step-by-step [bureaucratic] procedures to issue the document,” he said on October 23.
“So it's not a delay in shipment arrival. The vaccines have arrived and are ready for use. Nonetheless, President Jokowi will still comply with [existing] procedures, pending the issuance of the Emergency Use Authorization letter.”
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto stated last September that the government was preparing to use the vaccine by the end of 2020 or early January 2021.
He noted that the use of the vaccine is still pending a presidential order or a road map on the vaccine’s distribution, which he chose to leave to Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has warned Indonesia to refrain from any excessive euphoria on the arrival and distribution of the vaccine. “The efforts to find and distribute [a Covid-19] vaccine is bound to run into obstacles,” she said.
“The [challenges] include the need to carry on amid tight health protocols, especially with the knowledge that the vaccine will not be available any time soon.”