Indonesia pledges free COVID-19 vaccines, with president first in line | Inquirer News

Indonesia pledges free COVID-19 vaccines, with president first in line

/ 05:06 PM December 16, 2020
El dorado

Healthcare workers wearing protective suits carry a COVID-19 patient amid the coronavirus pandemic in Jakarta, Indonesia December 13, 2020. Antara Foto/Fsauzan/via Reuters

JAKARTA—Indonesia will provide free coronavirus vaccines to its citizens when the world’s fourth most populous nation starts its inoculation program, President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday, adding he would get the first shot to reassure people on safety.

The sprawling, developing country received its first shipment of vaccines, 1.2 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech in early December, but is awaiting emergency use authorization from its food and drug agency.


Another 1.8 million doses are expected to be delivered in January with the government previously saying that healthcare workers in Java and Bali would be prioritized.

“After receiving many people’s suggestions and after recalculating state financial calculations, I can say that COVID-19 vaccines for citizens will be free,” the president said in a video statement from the state palace in Jakarta.


The decision comes as the country of 270 million faces an escalating coronavirus outbreak and also after social media campaigns urging authorities to provide vaccines free of charge.

The president said he had instructed the finance minister to reallocate spending to fund the program.

Amid concens over vaccine safety and whether shots would be halal, an issue for many in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, the president said he would be the first recipient.

“This to provide assurance and trust to people that the vaccine is safe,” he said.

He did not specify which vaccine he would receive but a phase III trial of Sinovac’s CoronaVac is being conducted on 1,620 volunteers in the Indonesian city of Bandung in West Java but the results are yet to be released.

Ten months after officially recording its first case of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, Indonesia has now recorded more than 629,000 confirmed infections and 19,000 deaths, the highest caseload and death toll in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is looking to secure 246.6 million vaccine doses and has also been in negotiations with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and global vaccine program COVAX.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: coronavirus vaccine, COVID-19, Indonesia, President Joko Widodo, Southeast Asia
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.