Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian government has started a national vaccination program against COVID-19, with President Joko Widodo receiving the first dose of Chinese vaccine Sinovac at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday morning.
Earlier on Monday (Jan. 11), the National Agency of Drug and Food Control had granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has also issued a fatwa (a formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified legal scholar) stating that the vaccine is halal and divine.
Together with the president, a number of representatives from different backgrounds also received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine at the Merdeka Palace.
They are the General Chairman of Indonesian Medical Association, dr. Daeng Mohammad Faqih; the Secretary General of MUI, also representing an Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, Amirsyah Tambunan; an executive board member of Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, Ahmad Ngisomudin; the Commander of Indonesian Armed Forces, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto; Indonesian Police Chief General Pol. Idham Azis; and Raffi Ahmad who represents artists and millennials.
Currently, there are 3 million ready-to-use doses of Sinovac vaccine that have been distributed to the 34 provinces in Indonesia.
Indonesia is targeting to vaccinate 181.5 million people with COVID-19 vaccine until next year.
The first period of vaccination will be held until April 2021, targeting 1.3 million medical workers, 17.4 million public workers, and 21.5 million elderly people.
The second period will run from April 2021 to March 2022 for 63.9 vulnerable people and 77.4 million others.
Reporting by Indonesia Window