Indonesia’s mutual cooperation vaccination program will kick off on May 17 and will prioritize employees and laborers from the private sector, according to a government official.
The program allows companies to buy vaccines for workers, apart from the government's free vaccination drive.
Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) spokesman Arya Sinulingga said employees and workers from labor-intensive, manufacturing and textile sectors would be priorities.
“With this step, we hope that herd immunity can be achieved more quickly," Arya said in a virtual online discussion on Thursday.
Shinta Kamdani, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said more than 17,000 companies have registered to participate in the program, with as many as 8.6 million recipients thus far.
Registered companies can purchase vaccines from BUMN appointed by the government to bring vaccines to Indonesia.
In addition, companies are also prohibited from collecting fees from workers.
Indonesia has received around 480,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China that will be allocated for the mutual cooperation program.
Bambang Heryanto, spokesman for state-owned PT Bio Farma, said as many as seven million doses of the Chinese vaccine are expected to arrive by September at the latest.
The company that was appointed to procure vaccines is also negotiating with several vaccine providers, including CanSinoBIO from China and Sputnik from Russia.
The government made it mandatory that the type of vaccine used in the mutual cooperation program is different from what has been used in its free vaccination program.
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