Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has assured it will provide COVID-19 shots to all citizens for free, Health Ministry's spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinatoion Siti Nadia Tarmizi said. ;
"We need to clarify perception on the Health Minister Regulation No. 18/2021, that added a regulation regarding the Gotong Royong (mutual cooperation) vaccination and the government's vaccination program," she said during a dialogue on the Gotong Royong vaccination here on Wednesday.
The Gotong Royong vaccination program was launched on May 18 this year. The program was initiated by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) to support the national vaccination program.
Both programs are providing different vaccines for free, Tarmizi said adding, the Gotong Royong vaccines will be funded by companies for their employees.
"It (Gotong Royong) is aimed at expanding the COVID-19 vaccination coverage. The government's vaccination program and the Gotong Royong program will not use the same vaccines. Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Novavac, and Pfizer cannot be used in the Gotong Royong (vaccination) program," she elaborated.
Sinopharm and Cansino vaccines will be provided under the Gotong Royong program, Tarmizi said.
However, the same vaccine can be used for both programs if obtained through a grant as in the case of about 500 thousand doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated to Indonesia by the United Arab Emirates recently, she clarified.
"Although the Sinopharm vaccine is already being used in the Gotong Royong program, it can also be used in the government's vaccination program because we obtained it as a grant," she added.
According to chairman of the Indonesia Health Economic Association, Hasbullah Thabrany, the Gotong Royong program would help KADIN members to expand vaccination coverage for workers and recover productivity.
"The challenge now is to meet vaccine demand for 28 thousand companies registered (for vaccination) through KADIN," said deputy chairman for international relations at KADIN, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani.
State-run vaccine maker Bio Farma has pledged about 15 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine for the Gotong Royong vaccination program.