Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – A spokesperson for COVID-19 vaccination at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said the government is determined to give vaccine boosters on a paid scheme.
She explained the program was aimed at providing more varied vaccine options to the community. "[The goal] is to provide options and access to people who will surely prefer to choose certain types of vaccine brands," said Nadia to Tempo on Sunday, Jan. 9.
Nadia said that until now, only 244 regencies/cities have been able to carry out booster vaccinations. The areas were given permission to administer booster shots as they had met the requirements of having achieved the first dose vaccination target at a minimum of 70 percent the first dose and 60 percent of the second dose. This paid vaccine will start on January 12, 2022.
The booster shots plan met with criticism and rejection from the civil society coalition. Director of the Center of Economic and Law Studies (CELIOS), Bhima Yudhistira, assessed that this booster vaccine could trigger disparities between the lower middle class and the upper-middle class as many of them still do not have access to the vaccine at all."Those who get vaccines especially paid vaccines and booster vaccines will recover faster and their income will be higher than those who don't get access or have to pay [for COVID-19 vaccine]," said Bhima.