JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo on Wednesday announced that coronavirus vaccines would be free for all citizens.
“After receiving many recommendations from the public and after recalculating state finances, I can say that the Covid-19 vaccine for the public is free. Once again, it’s free. There is no charge at all,” said the President, who is popularly known as Jokowi, in a televised address on December 16.
Jokowi instructed the officials in all ministries, government agencies, and regional governments to prioritize the mass inoculation program in the 2021 budget.
He also ordered Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati to prioritize and reallocate another budget for the free coronavirus vaccination program.
“There is no reason for the public not to get the vaccine,” said Jokowi.
He also reiterated that he would be the first person to receive the vaccine in the country. This is to assure and provide trust to the people that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe.
“Lastly, I call on the people to be disciplined in complying with the 3M health protocols of mask-wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing,” Jokowi said.
It was reported that initially, the government was planning to carry out two Covid-19 vaccination schemes — subsidized and self-funded vaccination.