Gov't Announces Booster Shot Will Be Free for Everyone

Diana Mariska
Vaccination in TK Kartika X-16, Mampang Prapatan, Jakarta, on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. (Photo: Budhiyanto)
Vaccination in TK Kartika X-16, Mampang Prapatan, Jakarta, on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. (Photo: Budhiyanto) - President Joko Widodo has announced that COVID-19 booster shot will be free for all Indonesians as the country starts the rollout tomorrow.

Widodo said the decision was made because the country considers public health to be of utmost importance.

“I’ve decided to make the third dose of vaccine free for everyone in Indonesia because, let me say it again, the health of the people is the most important,” the President said virtually on Tuesday, January 11, as reported by Antara.

As planned, the national booster program will start rolling out in Wednesday, and the government will prioritize the elderlies and vulnerable groups. And the booster shot can only be administered at least six months after the second dose was given.

Widodo also warned people to continue a strict implementation of health protocols upon receiving the third jab as they’re deemed the “key” to handle and contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) approved the use of five COVID-19 vaccines as booster to improve antibody. CoronaVac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Zifivax were given the emergency use authorization (UEA) after evaluation by experts found the vaccines to have met the standards and requirements.

Before this announcement, the Indonesian government planned two schemes for the booster rollout.

Spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccination Siti Nadia Tarmizi said last week that the COVID-19 booster shot will be both free and paid.

According to her, the free boosters would be subsidized by Indonesian government to be given to Penerima Bantuan Iuran (PBI), or recipients of contribution assistance, especially the elderlies who are more vulnerable to hospitalization when infected. Meanwhile, the rest of the public initially should pay if they want to receive their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine with the average price at Rp300,000 or US$21.4 per person.

Tag # covid19 # covid19 vaccine # booster shot # joko widodo

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