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Jakarta Post

Private vaccination talks could spell 'bad news' for those most at risk

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, January 17, 2021   /  10:05 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Hope in a vial: A health worker shows a Sinovac vaccine dose at the Jurang Mangu community health center in South Tangerang, Banten, on Friday.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

The Health Ministry is exploring the possibility of allowing for private COVID-19 vaccination, raising concerns about possible disruptions to the government's free inoculation program, which is currently in place to prioritize those most at risk. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that there had been talks on private vaccination but they were not yet final. He explained that, as a regulator, it was his objective to obtain vaccines as soon as possible and for the lowest cost possible. He said any private vaccination scheme could only commence after the inoculation of medical and public workers, so as to prevent the narrative that "people with money" were first in line for the vaccine. "Or the second [option] is to prohibit [private vaccination] for individuals, [instead] allowing only corporations [to receive the benefit], with one requirement being the c...