About 10 thousand Indonesian military (TNI) personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 have been prioritized to receive vaccines in the first phase of the government’s immunization program, a military spokesperson said.
“We have registered the prioritized recipients. Their number is expected to reach between 9,000 and 10,000 personnel,” TNI spokesperson Major General Achmad Riad told journalists at the TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Wednesday.
The prioritized TNI personnel include medical workers and those in the high-risk group on the front lines, including those securing the strict implementation of the health protocols, he informed.
The authorized officers within the TNI have yet to discuss technical matters related to the government's vaccination program, but those categorized as prioritized recipients have been registered, he said.
All TNI soldiers would also, sooner or later, get vaccinated, he added.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has said the government would likely commence the first phase of COVID-19 immunization in the third week of December, 2020.
The novel coronavirus disease initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, and spread across the world, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Indonesia made an official announcement on the country's first confirmed cases on March 2 this year.
The Indonesian government has consistently expressed confidence in the potential of COVID-19 vaccines for helping win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed a serious threat to public health and the economy.
Over the past few months, the government has made all-out efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country's own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.
Moreover, Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
An Indonesian delegation also secured access to COVID-19 vaccines from China during a meeting with representatives from Cansino, G42, Sinopharm, and Sinovac in China on October 10 this year. (Antaranews)