JAKARTA - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin admitted that he received many WhatsApp messages from Malaysian citizens (WN) who protested because Indonesia had succeeded in vaccinating COVID-19 first.
"I receive a lot of WhatsApp in Malaysian language that Malaysians are angry because how come only underdeveloped countries in Indonesia get (vaccines, ed), how come we in developed countries can't. other, "said Budi in a webinar entitled Citizen Dialogue: Vaccines and Us, the West Java Economic Recovery and Transformation Committee, quoted on Friday, January 21.
He explained that the COVID-19 vaccine, he said, was indeed a problem in the world. Given, the number of vaccines needed to create community immunity is so large and all countries are scrambling to get it.
"WHO is also confused because the world's population is 7.8 billion if vaccinated by 70 percent, the vaccine is 5.5 billion times two doses of 11 billion. Meanwhile, the production capacity is only 6.2 billion," he said.
"So imagine a country like Bangladesh, Pakistan that is late in thinking. As soon as he ordered, you have to wait 3.5 years because it has been approved by developed countries and rich countries," he added.
So, reflecting on this incident, he said that Indonesia is a country that is fairly fast in procuring vaccines. Because, until now there have been various types of vaccines that will be given, starting from the Sinovac which has been used to Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, and others.
"That's a problem in WHO, there is a buildup (of vaccines, ed) in rich countries and it is not in balance with developing countries. But thank God, we procure vaccines smoothly," he said.
The national vaccination program is planned to start from January to March 2022.
"The schedule is 15 months. The President has indeed asked for 12 months but we are indeed limited in production," said the former Deputy Minister of BUMN.
Previously reported, the stages of COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia will be carried out on health workers first. A total of 1.4 million medical personnel will get vaccinated from January to February.
Then, in public sector workers as many as 17 million people in March to April, continued with the elderly as many as 25 million people. Meanwhile, vaccination for the general public will be carried out at the end of April or May.
Even so, currently President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is considering proposals from business actors to independently vaccinate COVID-19. Currently this proposal is still being discussed by the government.
One of the considerations for this proposal is that it can accelerate the vaccination program needed by Indonesia to control the COVID-19 pandemic at home.
"This is what we are just about to decide, because of what, because we need to accelerate, it needs to be as much as possible. What else will the costs be borne by the company itself, why not?" he said, when virtually opening Kompas100 CEO Forum 2021, Thursday, January 21.
However, Jokowi said there needed to be a difference between vaccinations that the government provides for free and vaccinations through independent channels. One of them is the difference in the use of vaccine types. He also asked that this issue be managed properly so that people would not be caught wrongly.
"Maybe it can be given (independent vaccine) as long as the brand of vaccine is different, the place to do the vaccine is also different, it can be done," he said.
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