TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Covid-19 response committee chairman Erick Thohir targeted mass vaccination to be held beginning January 2021. According to Erick, Indonesia is one of the most aggressive states in getting the Covid-19 vaccine among other Southeast Asia countries.
"Because we have already secured the vaccines from several partners," he said in the Transportation Ministry’s webinar on Tuesday, September 15.
Erick asserted that the timeline set by the committee could not be changed. So the government's focus in 2020 is only the health sector, starting from the enforcement of health protocols up to the testing, tracing, and treatment in a bid to suppress the current case fatality rate of 3.99 percent.
However, social assistance must be established at the same time considering many people have lost their jobs or earned lower income, he said.
An epidemiologist with the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono, criticized the government’s way of communicating to the public regarding the virus antibody as if it could end the pandemic.
“Vaccine is not a short-term solution, not a magic solution that can stop the pandemic,” said Pandu in a talk show event Ngobrol @Tempo on Thursday, September 10.
Pandu stressed that the pandemic is a public health issue. Thus, surveillance and fundamental changes in behavior among the public towards the health protocols against Covid-19 are necessary. Then it could be supported by mass vaccination of up to 70 percent of the population.