Government Should Lobby Saudi Arabia About Vaccines As A Condition Of Hajj
Illustrations of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. (Wikimedia Commons/Prof. Mortel)

JAKARTA - The government has been asked to be more active in lobbying Saudi Arabia to allow Indonesian pilgrims to take part in this year's Hajj, where the requirements are met with a type of vaccine.

From the information Saudi Arabia does not include vaccines from China or Sinovac in the list of requirements for Hajj 2021 with a limited quota.

Pks Dpr RI Faction member Amin Ak assessed, Indonesia needs very intense diplomacy in order for the Government of Saudi Arabia to recognize the types of vaccines used in Indonesia.

Through a joint diplomacy team consisting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Ministry of Health (Ministry of Health), Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and the Ministry of Religion (Kemenag).

"However, pilgrims from Indonesia are the largest compared to other countries. If this year is not allowed, the queue will be longer. Pity our worshippers," Amin told reporters Thursday, May 27.

Based on the Hearing Meeting (RDP) with the President Director (Director) of PT Bio Farma and Vaccine Distributor, Amin continued, the Saudi government determined that the approved vaccines are vaccines originating from the Americas and Europe, namely, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson &Johnson and AstraZeneca.

"And of the three vaccines, Indonesia has only astrazeneca vaccine that meets the criteria," said the member of Commission VI of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Sinovac vaccine which is the most used vaccine in Indonesia and is still in the process of obtaining emergency use listing (EUL) permission from WHO.

"And as promised by WHO, emergency use permits will be obtained by the second week of June 2021, so there is still enough time for Indonesian pilgrims to be allowed to leave for the holy land this year," amin explained.

On the one hand, amin added, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that this year's hajj season is open with a limited quota. The problem, he said, Indonesia does not have certainty how much quota allocation obtained this year.

"In fact, a number of countries have announced quota allocations by the Government of Saudi Arabia," said the East Java legislator.

Therefore, Amin hopes that the vaccine used in the government program can provide benefits for the ease of Indonesian pilgrims.

"Sinovac vaccine is the government's choice, if this vaccine will indeed be certified by who in the near future, it should be an strengthening factor for the government in lobbying the Government of Saudi Arabia," said Amin.

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