Indonesian Policy Strategy Outlook on the Deployment Policy of COVID-19 Vaccine: A Conceptual Misunderstanding of Vaccine Utility?

Mr Muhammad Rizky Nur Karim1, Mr Djarot Dimas Achmad Andaru1, Mrs Ari Sri Wulandari2, Wahyu Andrianto1

1Center of Health Law and Policy Studies Indonesia, Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia, , Indonesia, 2Department of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Padjadjaran University – Hasan Sadikin Central General Hospital, , Indonesia

The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine offers hope in mitigating the transmission of COVID-19. However, currently, the vaccines are still in limited amounts. The main issue turns into deciding the deployment policy in the form of prioritization to help maximize its utility. Indonesia, aiming to achieve herd immunity, considered civil servant merchants and public transport workers as one of the prioritized groups after healthcare workers. While it is arguable that vaccinating merchants and public transport workers complied with Indonesian law, its utility purposes and ethical considerations are being questioned. We argued that, albeit controversial, the decision to prioritize vaccination for merchants and public transport workers could reduce the harm caused by COVID-19 by preventing its transmission among the public. In a more normal situation, the government should prioritize the COVID-19 vaccine to save the lives of vulnerable groups. However, with the majority of Indonesian citizens working in the informal sector, vaccinating merchants and public transport workers could theoretically reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission or prevent infection, thus reducing the harm. Moreover, this decision could help relieve the economic burden caused by the pandemic. In conclusion, the Indonesian government’s decision to prioritize merchants and public transport workers is ethically justifiable, but only in the context of the Indonesian current condition


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