President Jokowi Announces Free Booster Jabs Nationwide

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in an statement aired by the Presidential Secretariat Youtube channel on Tuesday announced that the government booster vaccination will be distributed free without charge to the general public. 

    “I have made the decision to have the booster vaccine jabs be free of charge for each and every Indonesian citizen as public safety remains top priority,” said the President in the video on January 11. 

    This announcement clarifies previous news reports on the third dose vaccination or booster shots, saying that it was planned to be offered to the public in two schemes; paid and non-paid vaccinations. 

    Those that were initially meant to receive free jabs were groups classified as recipients of national healthcare insurance (BPJS Kesehatan) contribution assistance (PBI) and would utilize the State Budget to fund the vaccinations. The rest, in this initial design, were left with the option of paying for the vaccine. 

    However, this plan was met with criticism and backlash from members of the public. Calls for free booster shots were also rife to this day. 

    The Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) on Monday officially approved five Covid-19 vaccines to be used as boosters. The five vaccines are CoronaVac or Bio Farma's Covid-19 Vaccine, Comirnaty by Pfizer, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria and Kconecavac), Moderna, and Zifivax.

    In accordance with WHO recommendations, booster vaccines aim to inoculate high-risk populations, namely the elderly, health workers, and groups of individuals who have immune system issues or are immunocompromised.

    Read: Free Boosters for BPJS Kesehatan PBI Participants

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