The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration has ruled out compulsory vaccination for kindergarten and elementary school admission, according to a circular letter issued by the Jakarta Education Agency.
Jakarta Education Agency deputy head Bowo Irianto said the decision was taken to make it easy for parents who wanted to enroll their children in kindergartens or elementary schools.
“Jakarta has a very varied population, so access to schools must be open wide and in a nondiscriminatory way,” Bowo told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“Besides, immunizations can be done after the children are enrolled in school, which the city’s health facilities will provide,” Bowo said.
The circular letter came to attention when a citizen, Widhi Maulana, 32, posted a WhatsApp comment criticizing the decision.
“The previous regulation was good to ensure that children are vaccinated, but the administration has changed,” he said in his status.
He said that he noticed the circular letter when it was posted at the Penggilingan 1 community health center (Puskesmas) in East Jakartawhile he was trying to get an immunization certificate for his 2-year-old child.
He said that even after seeing the letter he still decided to get the immunization certificate. “Perhaps next year they will change the rule again,” he told the Post.
Opposition to vaccination among parents has begun to rise, they refuse to vaccinate their children despite the rise in outbreaks of preventable diseases such as diphtheria. (ami)