An Indonesian man recently claimed to have received 16 doses of Chinese coronavirus vaccines on behalf of 14 people for varying sums of money over the past three months, the online news site Coconuts Jakarta reported Tuesday.
“My name is Abdul Rahim. I have been … vaccinated, and I have received vaccinations on behalf of 14 people. Therefore I have received 16 shots, for which I was paid IDR100K-800K [$7-$56 USD] each time,” the man said in an undated video clip reviewed by Coconuts Jakarta on December 21.
The man’s video confession went viral among Indonesian social media users in recent days, prompting Indonesian government authorities to launch an investigation into the individual’s allegations on Tuesday.
Rahim said he received payments from Indonesians “seeking privileges extended to the vaccinated [who] didn’t want to get vaccinated themselves,” according to Coconuts Jakarta.
Indonesia’s federal government currently requires all people in the country to present proof of Chinese coronavirus vaccination to travel domestically between the archipelago’s various regions and islands. Indonesians may present a negative Chinese coronavirus test result in lieu of vaccine status to gain permission for limited inter-regional travel.
The nation’s federal government only allows “long distance travel for those who have been fully vaccinated and can show a negative antigen rapid test result,” according to a December 13 coronavirus notice issued by the German-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EKONID).
“Indonesia is currently implementing a more restrictive form of lockdown wherein non-essential and non-critical commercial activities are not allowed,” EKONID advised on December 13.
Indonesia’s Transport Ministry announced on December 1 new limits on the volume of traffic allowed on toll roads nationwide. The mandate is meant to reduce people’s movement and thus curb coronavirus transmission within the country.
“Indonesia has administered at least 258,955,775 doses of COVID [Chinese coronavirus] vaccines so far,” according to the “Reuters Covid-19 Global Tracker,” which is updated daily with data from local health ministries.
“Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 47.8 percent of the country’s population,” the news agency observed.
Indonesia is home to roughly 270 million people and is the fourth most populated nation in the world.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health has approved the following Chinese state-made coronavirus vaccines and vaccine candidates for use in the country: Sinovac Biotech (specifically for use in children aged 6 to 11 years old); Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical’s “Zifivax“; CanSinoBIO’s “Ad5-nCoV”; Sinovac CoronaVac; and Sinopharm.
Indonesia has further approved coronavirus vaccines made by the following companies: Pfizer-BioNTech; Moderna; Johnson & Johnson; Oxford/AstraZeneca; Novavax; and the Gamaleya Institute (a Russian state-run institute that produces “Sputnik V”).