Gov’t Holds Mass Vaccination for Religious Leaders
Date 24 Februari 2021
Ministry of Health in cooperation with Ministry of Religious Affairs on Tuesday (23/02) held a mass vaccination for religious leaders at Basement 1 of Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta.
The event, adopting the theme of Interfaith Religious Leader Vaccination Week, was scheduled to take place until Saturday (27/02/2021).
Each day, the vaccination targets 1,100 to 1,200 religious leaders from all religions, including Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
“So, it is not only vaccination for religious leaders. In fact, the vaccination is also aimed to build togetherness out of diversity,” said Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin at Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Tuesday (23/02/2021).
Budi added that the vaccination at Istiqlal Mosque is a pilot project before the program is held in other places.
“Four million vaccines have been distributed to all provincial capitals. Three million more vaccines will be (distributed) at the end of the month and one of the vaccination target groups is religious leaders so it will be a pilot project. I hope we can replicate it soon in other regions,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas expressed appreciation for the active role of religious leaders in the vaccination program.
According to Yaqut, the vaccination is a realization of synergy between state institutions, namely Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Health, and religious leaders to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a form of synergy in handling the COVID-19 pandemic that has occurred for almost a year in Indonesia. The active role of religious leaders should be appreciated. I hope it can improve the people’s awareness to continue to support this vaccination program together,” Yaqut remarked.
Yaqut added that the interfaith religious leaders who have been vaccinated can be a role model for the people to make the vaccination program successful, while expressing hope that the religious figures can also disseminate the importance of vaccination.
“Because fundamentally, religious leaders play an essential role in the society to carry out a persuasive approach so that the vaccination program can operate successfully and this pandemic can be over soon,” he said.
Yaqut also urged religious leaders to keep reminding the public of the importance of observing health protocols during the pandemic.
“This is the first vaccination. Although they have been vaccinated, I hope religious leaders remain disciplined with health protocols and observe the “5M measures”, namely wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining a safe distance, reducing mobility and interaction, and avoiding crowds,” he stated.
The vaccination at Istiqlal Mosque received positive responses from all religious leaders, one of whom is Chairperson of the Board of Mayahana Buddhism Indonesia Central Assembly Great Monk Dutavira Sthavira.
According to Dutavira, the vaccination is real evidence that the state is present for the people and keep them healthy.
“I have been vaccinated. I urge everyone get vaccinated with our one belief: if we are healthy, our family will be healthy, too. We can maintain and observe 5M health protocols, means we can keep our family safe, too,” said Dutavira.
For the record, religious leaders are a priority for the second stage of COVID-19 vaccination program since they are categorized as public service workers and their role is directly related to the people in providing religious teachings. (PR of Ministry of Health) (DH/EP)