JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Health has vaccinated thousands of clerics from the country’s religions with a vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic at Jakarta’s main mosque, Istiqlal Mosque, on Tuesday, February 22.
The initiative comes a day after a survey by the Indikator Politik Indonesia [IPI] survey body revealed that 41 percent of Indonesia’s population is still unwilling to be given a coronavirus vaccine.
Acting Ministry of Health Director General for the Prevention and Control of Diseases [P2P] Maxi Rein Rondonuwu said “the 4,080 Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian clerics represent the religions practiced in Indonesia.”
“We hope that they can be an example for their followers to comply with the vaccination.” Maxi added that the clerics were oriented about the vaccines beforehand through the Religious Affairs Ministry.
“We will try to vaccinate at least 1,200 clerics a day during this drive. ”
Istiqlal Mosque official Abu Hurairah confirmed the jab drive for the clerics, who came from the Jakarta area. However, he maintained that Istiqlal will vaccinate more clerics than the number given by Maxi. “We plan to vaccinate the clerics within two days, with the mosque staff following after.”
Abu noted that Istiqlal has enough area to hold a mass vaccination. Indonesia started its second vaccination drive on February 17.
The vaccination drive, which is the second of its kind, started off with market vendors from the Tanah Abang traditional market, as well as other professions with a high Covid-19 exposure rate.