Indonesia is forcing its citizens to accept the Covid vaccine, in an attempt to speed up the vaccination campaign that should lead to the extinction of the largest outbreak in Southeast Asia. Those who do not obey the rule are sanctioned by blocking social assistance services, stopping public services or fines. Local authorities are free to decide what type of punishment to apply.
Indonesia's government has made COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for anyone who's eligible and warned of punishments for those who refuse https://t.co/Oa7TKBtoQX
— Axios (@axios) February 18, 2021
The measure is unusual in a context in which many Indonesians are reluctant to receive a “rushed vaccine”. A survey conducted in September 2020 showed that 65% of citizens wanted the anti-Covid vaccine, and the rest were worried about costs, side effects or effectiveness. The government later decided that the serum should be administered free of charge.
About 1.7 million Indonesians have been vaccinated with Chinese Sinovac serum so far. But it is only a small part of the 180 million citizens the government wants to immunize by the end of the year.
Indonesia has also signed contracts with AstraZeneca and Novavax, but the doses have not yet been delivered, according to Bloomberg.