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Indonesia Highlights: Covid-19 Vaccine in Indonesia Free of Charge | Technology Needed to Support Vaccination Program | Retailers Plead for Leniency as Stricter Restrictions Loom

December 17, 2020, 02.13 AM – After days of public rumbling and grumbling, the Covid-19 vaccine in Indonesia will be free of charge for all citizens.

The announcement came from the Indonesian President who explained that the decision came after talks with the public and recalculating the country’s finances.

Now public attention moves to the question on how to ensure each citizen is inoculated.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani is eyeing technology to track every Indonesian that has received the first shot in the vaccination program that requires two doses for each person.

The implementation of Indonesia’s Covid-19 vaccination plans is a welcome development in a country struggling to mitigate the novel virus.

Meanwhile, retailers in Jakarta are pleading with the government to take action with crowd control at malls, restaurants, cafes, and modern retail stores instead of limiting operational hours for the year-end holiday.

Although the country’s retailers are supportive of government measures to avoid a second wave of infections, they are also asking for some leniency as profits continue to plunge for Indonesia’s hotel, restaurants, and catering industries.

More details on today’s Indonesia news are highlighted below:

1. President Jokowi Okays Free Covid-19 Vaccination for All Indonesians

President Joko Widodo on Wednesday announced that coronavirus vaccines would be free for all Indonesians.

“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.

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.

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.


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