Indonesian Health Ministry Provides 4 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for Free
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Health Ministry has revealed that it still stores around four million COVID-19 vaccine doses and is currently distributing them free of charge to the public during the transitional period of the national health emergency revocation. the health emergency status lifting transitional period.
"Around four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine are still available, with most of them being domestically-produced vaccines (InaVac and IndoVac)," Head of Health Ministry's Communication and Public Service Bureau Siti Nadia Tarmizi said in Jakarta on Sunday.
In addition to the domestically-produced vaccines, the ministry still also has around 100 thousand doses of imported vaccines, namely Pfizer and AstraZeneca, stored in the central government's storage facilities.
Tarmizi said that the vaccines are being distributed free of charge to the public, while awaiting the result of the study regarding paid vaccination.
"This (paid vaccination) is undergoing a study process. Hence, we took the option to continue providing vaccines, especially to vulnerable groups," she noted.
The option, she said, is in accordance with the Circular Letter (SE) Number 1 of 2023 concerning health protocols during the endemic transitional period in order to prevent COVID-19 transmission, which was issued on June 9, 2023.
"In the SE, we continue to emphasize the need to get people vaccinated," Tarmizi stated.
Currently, the Health Ministry is waiting for the decision of President Joko Widodo regarding the revocation of the Presidential Decree Number 11 of 2022 on the stipulation of public health emergency for COVID-19, she said.
The president's decision will return the responsibility for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic to the public, and outline regulations on paid vaccinations as well as the care of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
The regulations are being formulated and will be implemented by providing assistance to the beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Program (JKN) program, Tarmizi said.
During the COVID-19 health emergency period, the government bore patients' treatment costs by directly paying the bills to hospitals. After the regulations are issued, the treatment costs of the JKN program's beneficiaries will be fully covered by the National Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Health).
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