Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee Chairman, Airlangga Hartarto, asserted that the COVID-19 vaccine was mandatory under applicable laws. The vaccination in the time of a pandemic is stipulated in Law No. 4/1984 on infectious disease outbreak.
"Based on this law, vaccines are mandatory. If it is not made obligatory, it will cause harm to other people," said Airlangga in a virtual discussion on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.
The immunizations are provided to healthy people who are at risk of getting infected with the virus. However, Airlangga stopped short of detailing the sanction to be imposed on people refusing to get the shot.
The government is set to kick off its vaccination program earlier this year, prioritizing 1.3 million health workers from January to April.
After that, the vaccines will be administered to 17.4 million public officers, followed by 21.5 million senior citizens, 63.9 million people in regions classified as red zones, and other groups of people totaling 77.4 million people. The total number of COVID-19 vaccine recipients was targeted at 182 million.
As for the elderly, Airlangga said the vaccinations would be given after the special trial on the group. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, he added, eyed to complete the program by 2021.