Vaccine, Health Protocols Equally Important to Tackle Pandemic: Coordinating Minister
COVID-19 vaccination, compliance with health protocols, as well as testing, tracing, and treatment measures are equally important to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto has said.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is part of the Government’s concrete measures in the process of procuring vaccine and implementing vaccinations in Indonesia, as a follow-up to the President’s statement that people’s safety is the top priority in handling COVID-19,” Airlangga said on Sunday (06/12).
Airlangga pointed out that the vaccination will be supported by testing, tracing, and treatment measures as well as maintaining compliance with health protocols such as wearing face masks, washing hands, and maintaining physical distance.
He went on to say that even though 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in the country, the vaccination will only be implemented after passing evaluation stages conducted by the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).
“The implementation of vaccination has to be approved by the BPOM to ensure aspects of quality, safety, and effectiveness. Besides, we are also waiting for a fatwa (edict) issued by the MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council) regarding its halal aspects,” Airlangga explained.
The Coordinating Minister also said that the arrival and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the implementation of vaccination will take place in stages.
“Vaccination is also carried out in stages with priority for health workers and public service workers. It has been regulated by Minister of Health,” Airlangga stated.
The vaccine procurement, he added, is in accordance with Presidential Regulation Number 99 of 2020 on Vaccine Procurement and Implementation of Vaccinations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Regulation of Minister of Health Number 28 of 2020 on Implementation of Procurement of Vaccine Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Decree of Minister of Health Number 6587 of 2020 on the Assignment of PT Bio Farma in the Procurement of COVID-19 Vaccine, and Decree of Minister of Health Number 9860 of 2020 on the Determination of Types of Vaccine for the Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination.
“The regulations stipulate that the vaccination scheme consists of the Government’s program vaccine which will be provided free of charge and independent vaccine which will be paid by vaccine recipients. The detailed rules for the two schemes will be published in the next 1-2 weeks,” Airlangga said. (UN) (RI/MUR)