While Indonesia began its second phase of mass vaccinations against the coronavirus on Wednesday, it has been learnt that the government s planning to punishing those who refuse to take the vaccine.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the government may punish those refusing the vaccine via delaying or denying social assistance or administrative services along with imposing fines, said a revised presidential ruling.
However, the final form of penalty will be decided by local governments. Necessitating the vaccine compulsory is seen as a rare move as reluctance increases toward the shots that were rushed in its development.
According to a survey last September, about 65 per cent of Indonesians sought to be vaccinated, while the rest were sceptical over the health risks, cost and whether the vaccine would be halal. Considering these aspects, the vaccine has been made free of cost.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted at the market on Wednesday that many Indonesians were still afraid of the vaccine, but added that 77-year-old Vice President Ma'ruf Amin had been inoculated that morning. "Hopefully, this can motivate other people, particularly the elderly, to take the vaccination," Amin said.
The second vaccination stage is expected to be concluded by May 2021, reaching 38.5 million Indonesians. The archipelago nation of nearly 270 million is planning to vaccinate more than 180 million people overall, but analysts estimate this might take years.
(With inputs from AFP)