January 31, 2021, 02.59 PM

Growth at all costs?

But is herd immunity the real reason behind Indonesia's unorthodox vaccination plan?

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Health's Covid-19 vaccination program, told DW that younger people have the highest infection rate, albeit combined with a very low mortality rate.

Indonesians over 60 years old represent a small percentage of the population but account for around 46 percent of Covid-19 deaths.

Also read15 Million Doses of Covid-19 Bulk Vaccine Arrive in Indonesia

However, Tarmizi said that the younger age group "plays an important role in economic activities that support families. They move the economy, and therefore we give priority to those aged 18-59 years."

The economy is the keyword in this statement.

Jokowi has often said he wants to push Indonesia's economy forward, aiming for a seven percent growth target. That growth target was never realized during his first term, which ended in 2019 with the economy growing at around five percent.

He wanted to make growth a reality in his second term. But then Covid-19 happened.

In November 2020, Indonesia's economy entered a recession for the first time in two decades. It shrank 3.49 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter, as losses were experienced in almost every sector as Covid-19 cases rose.

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