Prof. Abdul Muthalib, the presidential doctor who injected Indonesian President Joko Widodo with the CoronaVac vaccine this morning, is now under the spotlight thanks to his shaky hands.
Those who watched the live televised vaccination event this morning were probably on the edge of their seats (like us) as the doctor shakily directed the needle towards Jokowi’s arm. It could’ve gone so horribly wrong with Abdul unable to contain his jitters with the needle just inches away from the president’s skin, but, thankfully, the injection was performed successfully.
The moment has, inevitably, spawned memes and online commentary.
bergetar .mp4 pic.twitter.com/OrvevgALBS
— Aurelia V (@senjatanuklir) January 13, 2021
Pak Prof yg nyuntik was shaking so much. I mean if I’m in his shoes, injecting the President in front of millions of ppl watching it live I’d literally bury myself there#JokowiDiVaksinpic.twitter.com/YX6oJdXNln
— ArminIsThinking⁷🍀 (@MIEGORENGYUM) January 13, 2021
Abdul admitted that he felt the weight of the pressure of performing Indonesia’s first COVID-19 jab (out of clinical trials).
“I rubbed alcohol as usual, then I injected [the CoronaVac vaccine]. After I injected it, [Jokowi] didn’t feel any pain,” Abdul said shortly after the procedure.
“Well, injecting the number one person in Indonesia, of course there were some [shaking or nervous] feelings. But injecting [Jokowi] was not an obstacle in the end. At the time of the injection I had no problem, I wasn’t shaking anymore, only at the beginning. There was no bleeding at all on the injection spot.”
The 75-year-old doctor is a professor of internal medicine at Universitas Indonesia (UI) and specializes in hematology and oncology. He practices at leading hospitals such as Mayapada, Gading Pluit, and Medistra, aside from his role as the deputy head of the presidential doctor team.
This morning’s ceremony, which was held at the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta, officially launched Indonesia’s mass vaccination program against COVID-19. The president was the very first to receive the vaccine — produced by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac — followed immediately by several top officials, including Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, National Police Chief Idham Azis, and Armed Forces Commander Hadi Tjahjanto.
Others who received CoronaVac at the Presidential Palace this morning comprised “key opinion leaders” in public health, which included celebrity/influencer Raffi Ahmad. Key religious leaders were also given the vaccine.
The recipients are scheduled to receive their mandatory second dose of CoronaVac in two weeks.
Over the next two days, the government plans to vaccinate key officials, opinion leaders on public health, and religious leaders throughout Indonesia’s 34 provinces.