January 31, 2021, 02.59 PM

An economic argument for saving lives

The decision to prioritize the working-age population is an indication that the Indonesian government urgently needs to restart the economy.

Also readOptimism Grows for Rebound of Indonesian Economy, Boosted by Vaccine Hopes

Giving younger people vaccinations first would be controversial in other countries, but many Indonesians have welcomed the plan. More people have been worried about losing their jobs than getting sick.

In October, Jokowi, defended his decision not to impose province or city-wide lockdowns in places where cases were surging, arguing hurting livelihoods also harms the public.

"Prioritizing health matters does not mean we have to sacrifice the economy, because sacrificing the economy is equal to sacrificing the lives of tens of millions of people," the president said.

Only time can tell whether this unorthodox vaccination strategy works out like the government hopes it will.

And if so, will the faster-than-expected economic recovery provide enough comfort to the thousands of Indonesians who have lost elderly relatives to Covid-19?

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