An Indonesian non-governmental organisation, Lapor Covid-19, said that they have been receiving reports of Moderna booster shots being administered to those currently not eligible to receive them.
According to CNN Indonesia, the group, which is made up of civilians reporting on Covid-19-related news, said that government officials, authorities, and their families had been given the booster shots.
Different access to vaccines
Ahmad Arif, the co-founder of Lapor Covid-19, said that "booster shots were given to government officials and authorities".
He added that on Sep. 9, the group received a report that a third dose of the vaccine was also given to the families of officials and authorities at a private sector office in Jalan Sudirman, Jakarta.
Arif also said that those who received the booster shots were told to "keep the information to themselves".
"The process for a third dose of the vaccine for the elites differs. As a result, people outside of Java Island have difficulties accessing the vaccines. In fact, within Java itself, people are finding it really hard," Arif said.
With that, he urged the government to look into the matter seriously, citing the importance of vaccine equity.
Top officials heard saying they received a booster shot
Earlier on Aug. 24, CNN Indonesia reported that on a livestream by the presidential office, Indonesian Military Commander Hadi Tjahjanto was heard claiming to President Joko Widodo that he had received his booster shot.
The livestream video, which showed Jokowi's visit to East Kalimantan, was subsequently deleted.
In the deleted video, the governor of East Kalimantan, Isran Noor, could also be heard saying that he had gotten his booster shot of the Moderna vaccine.
Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was also heard asking the president, "Everyone has received their booster shots, have you received yours?"
Jokowi was heard replying, "I haven’t. I’m waiting for the Pfizer vaccine."
Only healthcare workers allowed to get booster shot
As of now, only healthcare workers are allowed to receive Moderna booster shots in Indonesia.
The Jakarta Post reported that in late July 2021, Indonesian health authorities started giving booster shots to 3,820 healthcare professionals in 14 public hospitals in Jakarta and its satellite cities.
It was further reported that most healthcare workers received the Sinovac vaccine for their first and second doses.
The Indonesian government aims to administer the third shot of the Covid-19 vaccine to 1.5 million healthcare workers outside of Jakarta by end-August.
According to Arif, as of Sep. 8, only 741,907 healthcare workers have received Moderna's booster shot.
The general public can get the booster shot in 2022, but they will have to pay for it at a price that does not exceed IDR100,000 (S$9.40), Kumparan reported.
Indonesia's health minister said that only low-income citizens under the national healthcare premium coverage would be eligible to get a full subsidy for their booster shot.
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