Friday, December 1, 2023 | 03:15 WIB

Ministry of Health: “Free vaccine now available only to high-risk groups”


Jakarta, IO – Globally, the trend of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 continues to show a significant and stable downward movement. In Indonesia, our Ministry of Health 2021-2023 serosurvey studies show that based on the results of whole gene sequencing, a positivity rate of 0.31%, with more than 453 million doses of vaccine administered, so that 64% of the population obtain a full suite of vaccines, 99% of Indonesian citizens now have the SARS-CoV-2 antibody. 

On 4 August, the Government issued Presidential Regulation Number 48 of 2023 concerning the Ending of the Mitigation of the Covid-19 Pandemic as it Transforms into the Endemic Period, followed by the Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 23 of 2023 concerning the Guidelines for Mitigating Covid-19. With the enactment of this Ministerial Regulation, funding for treating Covid-19 patients are being transferred from the Covid-19 Mitigation and National Economy Recovery Committee into the National Health Security-Healthy Indonesia Card (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional-Kartu Indonesia Sehat–JKNKIS) mechanism, and it is disbursed through the Social Security Administrator for Health or Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial (BPJS). 

“Starting 1 September 2023, you can no longer submit (health cost) reimbursement claims to the Ministry of Health. Instead, costs are now being borne by the JKN mechanism, paid for independently by citizens themselves, or by other guarantors,” declared the Head of the Ministry of Health Legal Bureau, Indah Febrianti, in the “Efforts to Mitigate Covid-19 during the Endemic Period” online press conference held on Monday (21/8/2023). 

During the same event, Ministry of Health Director of Health Surveillance and Quarantine, dr. Achmad Farchanny Tri Adryanto, MKM, reports that independent isolation procedures still apply to Covid-19 patients, whether they show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. If they are tested positive for Covid-19, whether through the antigen or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, the patient must isolate themselves independently for 3-5 days. The test result, which is automatically recorded and reported in the Satu Sehat app, will be used as surveillance data. 

“Tracing of close physical contact must be performed on confirmed cases. Close contact with symptoms must be tested using the antigen swab test or a NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) swab test such as the PCR. While it is not necessary for close contacts without symptoms, they must still monitor themselves independently for 3-5 days. The ‘endemic’ status does not mean that Covid-19 disappears – it just means that it is controlled. There is still a possibility that new variants that might potentially cause new cases and deaths. This is why Covid-19 mitigation efforts remain necessary,” dr. Farchanny said. 

Programmed and Optional Vaccination 

Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Director of Immunization Management dr. Prima Yosephine Berliana Tumiur Hutapea, MKM announced that the Government has categorized Covid-19 immunization as “Programmed Immunization” and “Optional Immunization”. Programmed Immunization is complementary, provided to citizens with high risk of illness and death thanks to the disease, such as the elderly, or young adults who suffer from comorbidities and/or extreme obesity. 

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“Other groups also targeted in the Programmed Immunization are adults and children older than 12 with medium to severely immunocompromised systems, pregnant women and health workers who work in the frontlines of patient handling. The vaccination will be administered up to the second booster dose,” dr. Prima said. 

The new Covid-19 vaccination policy adjustment will apply on 1 January 2024. With this new ruling, free Covid-19 vaccination will be granted only to the risky groups according to stipulation. Other groups in society can still access vaccination for the disease – at a price. “We have yet to determine the pricing. We are still discussing the matter, and we will announce the result of our decision at a later date. We repeat: before 1 January 2024, the ruling for Covid-19 vaccination remains the same. We currently provide Indovac and Inavac vaccines, which are declared safe for distribution by the The Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (BPOM) and declared halal by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI),” she concluded. (est)


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