Indonesia on Tuesday kicked off a private COVID-19 vaccination program using Chinese vaccines with a mutual cooperation scheme locally known as "gotong royong" in 19 private manufacturing companies in West Java province.
President Joko Widodo said that through this scheme, companies or legal entities can pay for the COVID-19 vaccines for their employees to get injected for free to help achieve herd immunity.
"We hope herd immunity can be awakened soon, thus the spread of COVID-19 can be stopped in this country," said Widodo while observing the vaccination implementation in the Jababeka Industrial Estate in Cikarang area of West Java province.
The president also hoped that with the vaccination efforts, productivity in the industrial sector would recover soon and the country's economy would improve in the second quarter of this year.
The private inoculation scheme uses vaccines produced by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
Widodo said he expected the vaccination to cover 70 million people by September this year, with a target of vaccinating 181.5 million people to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.
Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rosan Roeslani said 22,736 companies have registered more than 10 million of their employees in the "gotong royong" vaccination program.
"I see that more companies will register. Some have even stated that not only employees but also members of the community around their operations would be given (the vaccine) for free," said Roeslani.