President Jokowi Orders Ministers to Ensure COVID-19 Vaccine Safety, Effectiveness
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on his Cabinet to ensure the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine procurement and vaccination.
“Safety means that the vaccine provided must go through a series of clinical trials. Otherwise, any trouble that arises will lead to public distrust of this vaccination,” the President said in his remarks at a limited cabinet meeting on the Plan for Vaccine Procurement and Vaccination, Monday (26/10) at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta.
According to the President, all stages of the trials must be based on scientific processes and data, as well as proper health standards, while stressing that safety and effectiveness aspects of the vaccine become the public main concern, including experts and researchers.
“Be alert. We must not rush for vaccine and overlook health standards. We also must not assume that the Government is in a hurry for the vaccine so experts and researchers ignore the existing scientific corridors,” the President said.
In addition to safety and effectiveness, public access to vaccine distribution, the President added, must also be ensured and well planned. He also said he had ordered his Cabinet to clearly explain the implementation of the vaccine to the public.
“We must consider which community groups will get priority vaccination and explain the reason why they become a priority,” he said, adding that vaccination will be implemented in two schemes, namely free of charge vaccination and independently purchased vaccination.
“The cost of independently purchased vaccination must be carefully calculated. Prepare the rules. And I want for the vaccine to be offered at an affordable price,” he added.
Furthermore, the President also urged his ministers to establish public communication strategies regarding the vaccination program and involve a number of stakeholders, including religious organizations to explain the benefits and the halal aspect of the vaccine.
“We must thoroughly explain the benefits and the implementation of the vaccine to the public so there is no misinformation and the spread of hoaxes by various media platforms,” he added.
On that occasion, the President also called for a detailed timeline of vaccination to be completed immediately by taking into account the availability of facilities and infrastructure, supporting infrastructure, distribution channels, and the interval for administering vaccines to be used per region.
“Training and simulations must be performed, either by medical workers and security personnel or volunteers who will be involved in the vaccination,” he said.
President Jokowi further said that all countries are looking to immediately tackle the pandemic, including in vaccine procurement and providing vaccination for their citizens. However, he said that it must be carried out carefully and well prepared.
“We want to move quickly, yet all these things must be well planned and well prepared,” he added. (TGH / UN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas