Indonesians to get vaccine for free

JAKARTA (BERNAMA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) yesterday announced that COVID-19 vaccine will be given for free to its citizens.

“I wish to announce that COVID-19 vaccine for the people will be free,” Jokowi said in his official YouTube site of the President’s Secretariat.

Jokowi also ordered the republic’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and provincial governors to give priority to bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccination in their budgets for 2021.

On December 6, Indonesia received 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China while another 1.8 million doses are due to arrive in early January, 2021.

Prior to this, local media had reported that Indonesia through its Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology under the Ministry of Research and Technology was collaborating with biopharmaceutical company from China, Sinovac Biotech, on COVID-19 vaccine research.

Through the research, Indonesia also developed a vaccine called Merah Putih, and if successful, some  290 million doses are expected to be produced by the middle of 2021.