JAKARTA. The government has predicted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine budget will surpass Rp 74 trillion in 2021, up 26.48% from the initial estimate of Rp 54.4 trillion.

According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the budget is a follow-up to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's direction to provide the vaccine for free.

In an official statement on Wednesday (6/1), the Ministry of Finance's Director-General of Budget Askolani said that the government plans to announce in detail the vaccine budget in order to provide free vaccination while currently there are still several matters to be considered.

Previously, the government budgeted Rp 54.4 trillion for the COVID-19 vaccine, with Rp 18 trillion sourced from the 2021 State Budget and Rp 36.4 trillion from the health budget in the national economic recovery programme initiated in 2020. (AM/MS)