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Health Ministry: Vaccines for Foreigners not Prioritised

vaccination Indonesia

Spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccinations from the Health Ministry Siti Nadia Tarmizi has confirmed that the government currently isn’t prioritising COVID-19 vaccinations for foreign nationals in Indonesia.

The government’s focus is to carry out a vaccination program that targets around 208 million Indonesians according to the applicable criteria.

This was explained by Nadia in response to the request of DKI Governor Jakarta Anies Baswedan regarding the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination for foreign refugees and asylum seekers in the capital.

“It’s not a vaccination target, right, because we are still prioritising Indonesian citizens,” added Nadia.

Currently, the availability of vaccines is still limited during the pandemic. Indonesia has only received 180,072,080 doses of both bulk and finished vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinopharm.

The Director of Prevention and Control of Directly Infectious Diseases (P2PML) of the Health Ministry at the same time advised that foreigners with certain terms and conditions can get vaccinated in Indonesia for free.

This has been stated in the Health Minister’s decree number HK.01.07/Menkes/4638/2021 concerning technical guidelines for the implementation of vaccination programs in the context of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, signed by Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on 7th May 2021.

However, Nadia said that foreigners who are vaccinated are not included in the list of the national vaccination program which targets 60-70 percent of the population or 208,265,720 Indonesians.

“Foreigner vaccinations can be both through national vaccination and gotong royong. [The number of foreigner vaccinations] is only small, so there is no target for foreigner vaccination,” said Nadia.

The Health Ministry stated that foreigners who were targeted for national vaccination were elderly foreigners and essential workers in the education sector aged 18 years and over. However, they must have requirements which include a registration number (NIK), residence permit, KITAS or KITAP, and passport number.

vaccination rate Indonesia

In addition, the government also requires that representatives of foreign countries and international non-profit organisations on duty in Indonesia can participate in the COVID-19 vaccination, either through the national program vaccination scheme or gotong royong vaccination.

The DKI Jakarta provincial government previously wrote to Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin asking foreigners and asylum seekers to be given the COVID-19 vaccine, while appreciating the Health Ministry which had previously issued approval for foreigners to vaccinate independently using the gotong royong scheme.

However, according to the DKI Jakarta government, based on the evaluation results of the vaccination implementation, there are foreigners who are vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission and it is not possible to use the gotong royong scheme, namely foreigners who are refugees and asylum seekers.

Also Read Health Ministry Plans Booster Vaccine for Public Next Year

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