Suara.com – The Covid-19 vaccine certificate in Indonesia is now like a ‘power card’ because it is used as a requirement for citizens to access public services such as public transportation to malls or shopping centers.
However, epidemiologists view the government’s policy as a real form of social injustice because it does not side with those who cannot be vaccinated because of comorbidities or run out of vaccine stocks.
LaporCovid 19, for example, asks the government to focus on providing stocks of COVID-19 vaccines and distributing them appropriately and quickly to regions, rather than touting vaccine cards.
The central government claims that this policy has accommodated various inputs from many parties and experts, and those who have comorbidities can still carry out their activities by attaching a doctor’s certificate.
COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate Not Required for Depok Residents’ Activities
Previously, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the vaccine card would be a requirement for the public to be able to access public places.
The vaccine card policy was piloted on August 10-16, 2021 in four cities in Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Bandung City, Surabaya, and Semarang.
Patients with comorbidities, ‘more difficult to find parents’
Endang Isnanik who lives in Bali is among those who have not been vaccinated because she suffers from the autoimmune co-morbidity of rheumatoid arthritis.
“If I may, I want to be vaccinated, but the government forbids it because of my congenital disease and its bad effects,” said Endang when contacted BBC News Indonesia, Tuesday (10/9/2021).
In the Decree of the Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health regarding Technical Instructions for the Implementation of Vaccination in the Context of Combating the Covid-19 Pandemic, there are 15 conditions of people who do not receive vaccines.
Malls in Semarang City Open, Visitors Must Show Vaccine Certificate or PCR
Among them suffer from heart disease, systemic autoimmune, chronic kidney disease, chronic digestive tract, cancer and others.
Endang also does not have a vaccine card, even though the government is preparing a certificate as a condition for accessing public services.
“I heard that the Bali-Banyuwangi crossing requires a vaccine card. I am sad and disagree because it will prevent me from meeting my parents and family in Java.
“Then to meet the family, how? I’m confused about this, so it’s a bit of a hassle,” said Endang.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indonesia, Endang has never met her mother, who is now over 70 years old.
Vaccine card ‘too pushy’
This policy was also rejected by a resident of Bandung City, West Java, Vinnie Nuryasari, who did not get the vaccine.
“If you want to go to the mall, you are also (forced) to have a vaccine card,” the 34-year-old woman told reporters, Yuli Saputra, as quoted by Kompas.com. BBC News Indonesia in Bandung, Tuesday (10/08).
Vinnie also objected to the policy because it hampered his activities, which often traveled out of town.
“Forcing everyone who is vaccinated to have a card, but getting the vaccine is very difficult,” said Vinnie.
Vinnie had planned to take part in the vaccination held by the local Puskesmas, but the participants were booming, there was even a commotion.
He also gave up his intention and started looking for a vaccination place outside his residence.
Vaccine cards are like “fresh air”
The shopping center Trans Studio Mall (TSM) Bandung, West Java welcomes the application of the vaccine card as an entry point for mall visitors, after being closed for more than a month.
The policy is expected to be able to revive the economic wheels of mall entrepreneurs.
“This is a breath of fresh air, (we) welcome it,” said Putri Pratiwi, Marketing Communication of TSM Bandung.
Since the implementation of PPKM on July 3, 2021, said Putri, TSM Bandung’s overall income has dropped drastically. Because, just tenant certain open.
In the city of Bandung itself, there are 23 malls that will implement this policy.
This policy has been implemented in Jakarta as stated in the Decree of the Governor of DKI Jakarta Number 966 of 2021 concerning PPKM Level 4 Covid-19 which was ratified on August 3, 2021 where everyone who will carry out activities in public places must have been vaccinated at least the first dose.
Meanwhile, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said the policy was unfair and would not be implemented.
Epidemiologist: vaccine ‘magic’ card shape social injustice
An epidemiologist who is also the Expert Board of the Indonesian Public Health Experts Association (IAKMI), Hermawan Saputra, disagrees with the government’s policy and says the vaccine card will cause social injustice in society.
“There are two current conditions, namely one group of people who cannot access the vaccine because of comorbidities and another group that is not vaccinated because the stock is not available,” said Hermawan.
“And they are not vaccinated not because they don’t want to, even though the card is a requirement, it becomes a magic card in accessing public services, that’s injustice,” he said.
Another factor why he rejected the plan is that the vaccine’s efficacy is only about 50 percent and the number of people receiving the vaccine is still low.
As of Monday (09/08), according to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of people who had been vaccinated against the second dose was only 11.63 percent or 24,212,024 of the 208 million target of Covid-19. -19 vaccinations.
Meanwhile, the number of people who were injected with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine was 50,630,315 people or 24.31 percent.
Of the 20 million people, said Hermawan, only about 10 million have an immune response.
“That is tantamount to being useless. If the vaccine stock is not enough and you can’t afford a large vaccine, don’t make it mandatory. It’s better to implement strict health protocols and do 100 percent vaccine if you want. to relax community activities, do not need a card. vaccine,” said Hermawan.
Likewise, the LaporCovid-19 advocacy team, Agus Sarwono, asked the government to withdraw the plan.
“Don’t let the government boast that the vaccine card can be used to access public services, such as going to malls and so on. But the priority has been forgotten, namely ensuring vaccine stocks are available, and distribution to the smallest corners. I feel sorry for the community,” said Agus.
In previous BBC News Indonesia reports, several regions are currently complaining about a shortage of vaccine stocks from the center, including in East Kalimantan, East Java and North Sumatra.
Until last Friday (06/08), Indonesia had brought in around 180 million doses of vaccine. More than half of it has been distributed to the regions and the rest is in the process of processing.
Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Monday (02/08) said the vaccine stock will increase by 331 million until next December.
Vaccine card, gradual relaxation process
Responding to public complaints, the Coordinator of the Expert Team and Government Spokesperson for Handling Covid-19, Wiku Adisasmito, said the mandatory vaccination policy for visitors to shopping centers and other public facilities has accommodated various inputs from many parties and experts.
“And this is also an input without turning a blind eye to the conditions on the ground. In principle, the government takes policies by prioritizing public safety and health,” said Wiku.
Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Vaccination of the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said that the plan to use a vaccine card as a requirement for activities in public spaces is part of the gradual opening in areas that still apply PPKM level 4.
“So the goal is to protect residents from the risk of transmission,” he said.
Nadia also emphasized that residents who have comorbidities and cannot be vaccinated can still move in public spaces and use public transportation.
“Of course, controlling comorbidities so that they can be vaccinated, but if it is not possible to get the vaccine, you can get a certificate from the doctor who treats him,” said Nadia.
Head of the West Java Industry and Trade Office, Arifin Soedjayana, said residents who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons and are not old enough can show the results of an antigen or PCR test if they want to enter malls or other public facilities.
“In the (guideline) there are points that cannot be vaccinated or have not been vaccinated, can receive antigens with a period of 1 x 24 hours or PCR for 2 x 24 hours,” said Arifin while confirming. Covid-19 tests must be in a laboratory registered at carelindung.id.