By early March 2021, Covid-19 vaccines will be available for purchase privately for the general public. With this access to the vaccine, efforts to create herd immunity will be realized more quickly in addition to reducing the burden on the state budget. The government is still working on a number of regulations so that the implementation of private purchase of vaccines will provide optimal benefits for people who are currently affected negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Hopefully, by the end of February or at the latest early March 2021, independent vaccination can be implemented,” said President Joko Widodo in a discussion with a number of editorial leaders of the national media at the State Palace on Wednesday (17/2).
At the meeting attended by Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, the President also explained the importance of the implementation of the micro-scale Restrictions on Community Activities (PPKM), elections of regional heads of government (Pilkada) in 2024 and civilized democracy on social media.
The implementation of independent vaccinations is still pending the arrival of the Sinopharm, Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca vaccines. Currently, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has shared the names of companies providing vaccines can be purchased independently. When they arrive, these vaccines shall be immediately distributed to the companies that ordered them.
“Independent vaccination shall be provided by hospitals that are not appointed to provide free vaccinations,” explained the President.
The procurement of Covid-19 vaccines in Indonesia can only be carried out by state-owned PT Bio Farma. Only state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) are given the authority to import Covid-19 vaccines. This policy is intended to prevent vaccine counterfeiting and other illegal use. Privately available vaccines shall obtained by hospitalsdirectly from PT Bio Farma.
“Companies that buy these vaccines from Bio Farma will later administer free vaccinations to employees and their families. The hospital may also choose to provide these vaccines to others outside of the employees and family of the sponsoring company,” said the President.
The President said that the private sector’s role in providing independent vaccinations is very important to achieving herd immunity. With the private sector’s role in providing independent vaccinations, the burden on the state budget can be reduced and the Covid-19 vaccination period can be shortened to less than one year.