Indonesia and the National Efforts for Vaccination
18 June 2021

To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia is now racing to vaccinate 181.5 million citizens or around 67% of its population. To achieve the goal, currently, two vaccination programs are running in motion, one carried out by the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (or the "MoH"), known commonly as the Vaccination Program or 'Program Vaksinasi', and the other one initiated privately by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kamar Dagang dan Industri Indonesia or "KADIN"), commonly known as Gotong Royong Vaccination Program or 'Vaksin Gotong Royong'.


Starting in the early months of 2021, the Indonesian government has taken the initial step to anticipate the needs for mass vaccination of its vast population by issuing the MoH Regulation No. 10 of 2021 on the Implementation of Vaccination to Mitigate the Corona Virus Disease 2019 ("MoH Regulation 10/2021"). This regulation serves as the umbrella and guideline on how COVID-19 vaccination programs will be carried out in Indonesia.


What Is Being Offered: Vaccination Program and Gotong Royong Vaccination Program


To get the ball rolling, on 13 January 2021, the government has started the Vaccination Program as marked by the vaccination of President Joko Widodo. In its initial stage, the Vaccination Program is addressed only for a specific priority groups, such as healthcare workers, including healthcare assistants and support workers who work at the Healthcare Facilities, elderly community, public service workers/officers, and vulnerable community from geospatial, social, and economic aspects. Due to the limited availability of vaccines, the MoH will also determine the priority area which can receive the vaccine first by taking into account the number of COVID-19 cases in said area. The expenses of the Vaccination Program is entirely paid by the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget and Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget.


Gotong Royong Vaccination Program, on the other hand, is designed to reach private sectors, including companies' employees and their families, with the primary aim to assist the recovery of the health and economic sector. The companies will pay the expenses for Gotong Royong Vaccination Program as the employer. However, a company's participation in this Gotong Royong Vaccination Program does not automatically reiterate the same into a mandatory obligation for their employees to participate in the program.


To be vaccinated with the Vaccination Program, the government will list the prospective vaccine receiver from the priority group. At the same time, companies/employer will also list their employees who are willing to be vaccinated through the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program, provided that the company has signed up for the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program with KADIN. Under both programs, vaccines are given free of charge to individuals.  


Is It a Must?


While vaccination is not pushed to society as mandatory, MoH Regulation 10/2021 regulates that every person who has been determined as the recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine must attend the vaccination. It implies that once a person is scheduled to be vaccinated, either through Vaccination Program or Gotong Royong Vaccination Program, he/she shall not refuse the vaccination. However, the obligation set by MoH Regulation 10/2021 is not supported with any punishment tools that, such as sanction, that can push people to obey.


As a parallel effort to push people to get vaccinated, Article 13A and 13B of the President Regulation No. 14 of 2021 regarding the Amendment of President Regulation No. 99 of 2020 regarding Procurement of Vaccines and Implementation of Vaccination in the Context of Dealing with the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic ("PR 14/2021"), as well as Law No. 6 of 2018 regarding Health Quarantine ("Law 6/2018") set forth administration sanctions towards anyone who refuses to be vaccinated, in the forms of (i) postponement or termination of social security or social assistance from the government; (ii) postponement or termination of government administration services for the said person; and/or (iii) fine. Said administrative sanctions would also apply to the people who are designated as the target recipient, either with Vaccination Program or Gotong Royong Vaccination Program, but refuses to get vaccinated, with limited exceptions only if the person does not meet the required health qualification for vaccination. In addition, Article 13B of PR 14/2021 expands the consequences by taking on the fine and imprisonment sanctions stipulated in Article 93 of Law 6/2018, so if the refusal to get vaccinated is obstructing the prevention measure to stop the spread of COVID-19, the person can be imposed by 1 (one) year imprisonment and/or IDR 100,000,000 (one hundred million Rupiah) fine.


Vaccine for Workers 


Currently, the Indonesian government does not mandate vaccination as a requirement for working, or in a more lucid expression, there is no regulation that obliges the employer/company to provide their employees with the vaccine, nor in opposite require the employees to be vaccinated prior to commencing their work.


Despite the above situation, to voluntarily get the vaccine, the workers in Indonesia can use the two vaccination programs organized by the government and KADIN. Per 18 May 2021, KADIN has registered 22.736 companies with over 10 million workers participating in the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program. The enthusiasm shows significant improvement in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Nevertheless, given the number of daily cases that are still increasing, we may expect the battle to continue for some time.


Suppose workers vaccination is seen as an essential issue for the employer. In that case, theoretically, it is possible to push this agenda to the workers by using the legal basis of MoH Regulation No. 48 of 2016 regarding Occupational Health and Safety Standards for Office Space ("MoH Regulation 48/2016"). This MoH Regulation 48/2016 allows the head of the office or the building manager to take disease prevention activities, which can be interpreted as requiring its workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, this approach is not yet applied in Indonesia, and it is possible to implement this kind of pressuring solid measure, a specific labor regulation should be established first by the government.   


Vaccination Programs and Participant's Personal Data


There is no specific regulation in place on how the data given by the employees in the vaccination program, including employee's statements to refuse the vaccination, should be used or limited. For your information, currently, Indonesia does not have umbrella regulation on data protection. Consequently, the data protection requirements are dispersed within various regulations, such as Law No. 11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction as lastly amended by Law No. 19 of 2016, Government Regulation No. 71 of 2019 on the Implementation of the Electronic System and Transaction, and the Ministry of Communications and Informatics Regulation No. 20 of 2016 concerning Personal Data Protection in Electronic System.


Consent is the critical principle of personal data processing under the prevailing regulations in Indonesia. Consequently, consent from the data subject, in this regard, the employees or vaccine participants, is always required, except in certain events as stipulated in the prevailing laws and regulations. To collect the consent, the organizer must use a consent form made in the Indonesian language, which form should also clearly express the employee or vaccine participant's consent on the collection, use, and process of his/her personal data by the employer.


Should there be any queries related to how this specific regulation may affect your business or personal interests please do not hesitate to contact us.

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