JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian State Owned Enterprises [ BUMN ] Minister Erick Thohir continues to dispel lingering disinformation that still surrounds the Covid-19 vaccine, a week after Indonesia started mass vaccinations against the pandemic on Wednesday, January 13.
Speaking at a hearing with the House of Representatives or DPR Commission VI on Trade, Industry, Investment, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and State Owned Businesses, Erick refuted a hoax based on paranoia over barcodes in the vials.
“The vaccines do not contain a chip that will be implanted on our bodies when they are vaccinated. The barcodes are put on the vaccines to ease their distribution,” said the former owner of Italian Serie A soccer powerhouse Inter Milan.
“The barcodes can also be used to monitor [the vaccines’] distribution through GPS in real time, and ensure they get to their destination on time as well as with the correct temperature. We take these precautions to prevent irregularities in the vaccines’ distribution.”
Erick also admitted that the government will continue to distribute private vaccines, though free vaccines for Indonesia’s population will still be priority.
“The distribution of the private vaccines will not be mixed up with the free vaccines, as their brands and packing will be distinctive from their free counterparts,” he maintained.
“The time of their distribution will also be different. Vaccinations with the free vaccines will be carried out in the next one or two months, before the private vaccines start to be used.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo started off Indonesia’s mass vaccination by becoming the first person in the country to be injected with the vaccine. Indonesia aims to vaccinate at least 181 million people to gain herd immunity against Covid-19.