Illustration: COVID-19's vaccine. (Image via Tempo)

Survey: Indonesian people ready for COVID-19 vaccine

A survey, conducted by the Health Ministry, Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), UNICEF, and WHO, showed that the majority of Indonesian people are willing to receive the vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The survey involved more than 115 thousand people throughout 34 Indonesian provinces.

The survey, held on 19 - 30 September 2020, stated that three-quarter of the respondents stated that they have heard about the COVID-19's vaccine, while two-thirds of them stated that they are willing to receive the said vaccine. Nonetheless, the approval level is different in each province respectively. This was due to certain factors such as economic status, religion, education status, and area. The survey aims to understand Indonesian people's perception, views, and attention on COVID-19's vaccine.

The Secretary-General of the Health Ministry, Oscar Primadi, stated on Wednesday that for the group of people with richer information on the vaccine, they tend to be willing to be injected by the COVID-19's vaccine. The same applies to those who possess health insurance, as quoted on the official website of the COVID-19 taskforce.

Geographically, Papua's approval rate is the highest with 75%, followed by Java and Kalimantan. Aceh has the lowest approval rate of 46%, followed by Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Maluku.

The survey also showed that there was a group of people in doubt, while a small group rejected the vaccine. From 7% of the people rejecting the vaccine, they consider certain factors such as the security, efficacy, and whether the vaccine is "halal" enough. Oscar explained that the Indonesian government is struggling to ensure the security and halal aspects of the vaccine be fulfilled by the COVID-19 vaccine makers by dispatching a joint team of Indonesian ministries and agencies to the producing countries.

While waiting for the vaccine to come, Oscar stated that socialization and education on the COVID-19 vaccine are being enforced. The head of ITAGI, Sri Rezeki S. Hadinegoro, agreed that the Indonesian people showed enthusiasm toward COVID-19's vaccine. Sri thought that the enthusiasm was encouraged by the hope to end the pandemic as soon as possible.