Reports of government officials' families jumping queue to get booster shots

Source – September 8, 2021
Hundreds of people queue to get vaccinated in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta province – June 26, 2021 (Kompas)

Haryanti Puspa Sari, Jakarta – The co-initiator of the community based volunteer group LaporCovid-19 (Report Covid-19), Ahmad Arif, says that they have received reports that third dose vaccinations or boosters have been given to the families of government officials in Jakarta.

"Just today we received a report of vaccine boosters being given to officials' families at a private office in Jakarta, on Jalan Sudirman", said Arif during a virtual discussion on Wednesday September 8. "Interestingly, they warned [recipients] not to inform other people about it", he said.

Arif said he regretted that officials were administering third doses or booster to people because the third dose has been specifically prioritised for health workers. In addition to this, the majority of people on Java island and the regions are still finding it difficult to access Covid-19 vaccines.

"This must be followed up seriously because its related to morality and vaccine equality which is one of the most basic issues for us", he said.

Earlier, the Health Ministry stated that it has yet to start the administration of third doses for the general public. Although according to Ministry of Health Acting Director General for Disease Prevention and Control, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the ministry is preparing to implement a booster scheme in 2022.

"Next year we will implement a scheme to administer boosters, next year we will give vaccine boosters for those who have already received the first and second vaccine doses", said Rondonuwu during a virtual discussion on the FMB9ID YouTube channel on Tuesday September 7.

Rondonuwu said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to recommend third doses because the current global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is still uneven and on average only 10 percent of the world's population has been vaccinated.

"So it's not a question of not being allowed to medically but in terms of equality there are still many people in the world who have yet to be vaccinated", he said.

Rondonuwu also said that third dose vaccinations will be paid except for people who receive assistance to pay premiums for the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) insurance program.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "LaporCovid-19 Dapat Laporan soal Booster Vaksin Covid-19 untuk Keluarga Pejabat di DKI".]