Jakarta. Paper giant APRIL Group recently kicked off the self-funded Covid-19 vaccination program for all its employees at Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, through its local operating arm Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, or RAPP.
Their participation in the so-called "gotong royong" vaccination program comes in a bid to help create herd immunity and spur economic recovery in the industry plantations sector. RAPP is also the first company to hold the gotong royong vaccination campaign in Riau. In the initial phase, the PaperOne producer will roll out Covid-19 jabs for 1,800 employees. The number of recipients will eventually increase until all employees get a shot in the arm.
The vaccine rollout first took place on Thursday at Mutia Harapan School at RAPP's complex area in Pangkalan Kerinci. Prominent figures such as Riau Governor Syamsuar, Riau's police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Setya Imam Effendi, as well as Pelalawan Regent Zukri were also present.
"We applaud RAPP for its efforts on boosting herd immunity by becoming the first [company] to hold the gotong royong vaccination in the province. We hope other companies can do the same," Syamsuar said.
According to RAPP's president director Sihol Aritonang, the vaccination is part of APRIL Group's contribution in helping the national vaccination program — as part of the government's main agenda that is in cooperation with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin).
"The vaccination illustrates our efforts to always put the employees' health and safety first. This vaccine will give protection for employees who continue to work in this new normal era to support national economic recovery particularly the industrial forestry sector," Sihol said.
APRIL's vaccination also heaped praise from Kadin deputy chairwoman Shinta W. Kamdani. She wished more companies could register their employees for the Covid-19 jab to reach herd immunity.
“We hope the synergy between the government and the private sector in the national vaccination campaign can have a positive impact on both health and economy. Not only to protect workers' health, but also for economic recovery," Shinta noted.
Regent Zukri also gave his thumbs up for RAPP's vaccine rollout.
“Hopefully, we will all be more disciplined when it comes to health protocols. Also kudos to RAPP for implementing standard operating procedures on virus transmission prevention for all of its employees and contractors," he said.
APRIL group is under the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) resource-based conglomerate. In total, RGE Indonesia allocates a whopping 43.474 doses of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccines for all of its employees in Indonesia. The initial phase, which had already begun since late May, will encompass 6,000 doses.
RGE will distribute Covid-19 vaccines for its subsidiaries in the resource-based manufacturing industry. Among them are Asia Pacific Resource International Limited (APRIL), Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), Asian Agri, and Apical. As well as Pacific Oil and Gas (PO&G), and philanthropic organization Tanoto Foundation.
The vaccine distribution will encompass several regions, namely Jakarta, Pelalawan, Medan, Dumai, Balikpapan, Jambi, and Kalimantan.
In addition, the company also applauds all medical workers in all RGE's business units for relentlessly reminding employees to comply with the health protocols.
In a separate occasion, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the Kadin-initiated gotong royong vaccination is a collaborative effort between the private sector and government for herd immunity and a boost in productivity.
“Hopefully, everyone can be protected from the coronavirus transmission. We also hope that production areas, industries, factories, and companies can become more productive and that there will be no spread of Covid-19," Jokowi said.
Kadin estimates that 22,736 companies with around 10 million workers have signed up for the gotong royong vaccination. The number is still likely to increase.
According to the 2021 Health Ministry Regulation, the gotong royong vaccination enables private entities to procure vaccines for their employees as well as their family members with the company funding.