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Jakarta Post

[INSIGHT] Overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

  • Sudirman Nasir


Makassar,   /   Sat, March 6 2021   /  01:14 pm
Medical workers prepare to administer the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine during a drive-through vaccination service in Nusa Dua, Indonesia's resort island of Bali, on March 1, 2021. (Agence France Presse/Sonny Tumbelaka)

It is a significant achievement that Indonesia initiated its vaccine rollout on Jan. 13, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo receiving the country’s first COVID-19 jab. Jokowi sent a firm message to the people that all those who are eligible and offered the vaccine should take it. Nevertheless, aiming for vaccination coverage of 181 million citizens will be challenging if people have little confidence in the vaccine, a phenomenon known as vaccine hesitancy. Strong demand for and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines will be crucial but promoting acceptance and buy-in are no easy tasks. Several studies have warned us about the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among Indonesians.  A survey by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC) in mid-December 2020 showed a large number of Indonesians were hesitant about obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine amid rampant concerns abo...