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Indonesia on Tuesday kicked off a private vaccination scheme that will inoculate at least 10 million people against Covid-19.

Their vaccinations will be paid for by their respective companies ranging from labor-intensive manufacturers to micro-, small medium-sized enterprises.

“I am glad the private vaccination drive has commenced. I hope everyone will be protected from Covid-19 and the plants in these industrial and business zones can be more productive,” President Joko Widodo said when he attended the launch at a Unilever plant in Cikarang, West Java province.

“This private vaccination drive could accelerate the inoculation programme in Indonesia,” Widodo added.

The launch was held jointly via video conference with other companies from 18 locations in industrial zones around the capital, Jakarta.

The private inoculation drive is using vaccine from China’s Sinopharm and CanSino. The government is still in negotiations to import Russia’s Sputnik vaccine for the private scheme.

The vaccination drive is being coordinated by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce.

The health ministry requires that the vaccines used should be different from the brands used by the government vaccination programme.

Also, the private entities that take part should buy the vaccines from a state-owned vaccine importer and pledge not to pass on the costs to their employees, in keeping with the government’s free vaccination drive for all citizens.

According to a health ministry regulation, the price for a single dose of Sinopharm vaccine is 500,000 Indonesia rupiahs or 35 dollars.

The Chairman of the chamber of commerce, Rosan Roeslani, said more than 22,000 companies have registered to get more than their 10 million employees and their families vaccinated.

Indonesia aims to reach herd immunity by inoculating 181 million people, but the progress has been slow, with at least 22 million jabs have been administered under the government vaccination program, out of which 8 million have had their second jab.

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