Jakarta, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- Some 5,000 Indonesian journalists were being vaccinated Thursday for Covid-19, in gratitude for the work of the media amid the pandemic.
The first doses went to photographers, cameramen and reporters on the ground, despite not being within the priority groups of the mass vaccination campaign that began in January and will be open to the general population in April.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo pledged Feb. 9, during Indonesian Press Day, to vaccinate a group of journalists previously selected by the Press Council Secretariat, an independent institution.
Widodo praised the commitment of journalists for their work in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, which in Indonesia has already infected more than 1.29 million people, and where almost 34,700 deaths have been registered.
According to data from the Press Council, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has about 120,000 journalists.
The nation, with a vast territory made up of more than 17,000 islands (6,000 of them inhabited), began its vaccination campaign Jan. 13 with the jab produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac and aims to inoculate two-thirds of its population, 181.5 million people, by March 2022.
Widodo was the first to receive the vaccine in a rally alongside other Indonesian politicians and personalities, including some well-known influencers, to inspire confidence about the jab among the population.
During the first and second phases, between January and April, authorities plan to vaccinate at least 17.4 million public workers, where health personnel are prioritized, but which also include police officers, soldiers and teachers, among other officials.
The country expects to receive most of the vaccines, which will be free for the entire population, throughout the second half of the year and has signed agreements to purchase almost 330 million vaccines. EFE-EPA