JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - In a move to step up the Covid-19 jab drive, Indonesia gave the nod to a mutual assistance vaccine scheme in the country, allowing private companies to procure vaccines independently for their employees.
"There are 6,644 companies have been registered to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to [carry out vaccinations]," said State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir during the CNBC Economy Outlook 2021 on Thursday, February 25.
"This requires approximately 7.5 million doses of vaccines," Erick added.
Erick said that the private sector should be involved in the mutual assistance vaccine scheme by buying the vaccines from the government or state firms. However, he said, the companies must provide free vaccines to their employees.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN) public communication coordinator, Arya Sinulingga, said the participating private companies are prohibited from selling the vaccines to their employees. In other words, their employees must get their vaccines free of charge.
"The vaccine should not be sold [to the employees]. So, the vaccine program is one of the positive steps to fight against the Covid-19,” said Arya in a virtual discussion on Tuesday, February 23.
The technicality for implementing the vaccination independently will not interfere with the government’s vaccination program, Arya added. The independent vaccination will be carried out by hospitals that are not appointed to provide free vaccination.
The brands of vaccines used by the private companies will be different from those used by the government. Currently, Indonesia has only provided the vaccines from China's Sinovac.
Arya explained that the mutual assistance vaccine scheme was purely voluntary. He said the program was even initiated by the Indonesian business community in a bid to help the government to step up vaccinations against the Covid-19. The initiative could also lessen the burden to the state budget and vaccinate the population in less than a year.
Indonesia has secured 340 million doses of vaccine. The government has set a target of vaccinating 170 million citizens by December this year.
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