December 16, 2020, 06.50 PM

JAKARTA, – 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.

Also readIndonesia Receives 1.2 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine from China’s Sinovac

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.

The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese drug maker Sinovac has arrived in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta on Sunday, December 6.ANTARA FOTO/DHEMAS REVIYANTO The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese drug maker Sinovac has arrived in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta on Sunday, December 6.

Also readHealthcare Workers in Java, Bali to Get Covid-19 Vaccine First: Ministry of Health

It was reported that initially, the government was planning to carry out two Covid-19 vaccination schemes — subsidized and self-funded vaccination.

Last week, the Ministry of Health’s Director for Direct Infectious Diseases Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that the government-led inoculation program would prioritize 107 million people aged 18 and 59 or 67 percent of the country’s population to receive the shot.

Initially, under the plan, 32 million people would receive the subsidy, while about 75 million would pay on their own, she said.

However, the schemes have now been amended following the President’s decision to provide free vaccines for the citizens.

The first shipment of 1.2 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. arrived in Indonesia on December 6.

(Writer: Fitria Chusna Farisa | Editor: Dani Prabowo)


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