Indonesian punk rock drummer Jerinx has received the COVID-19 vaccine, he’s revealed, saying that he never professed to be against the vaccine.
The Superman Is Dead drummer – real name I Gede Ari Astina – reportedly received a dose of the Sinovac vaccine on August 15. Jerinx has made headlines in local media numerous times over the course of the pandemic for airing conspiracy theories and opinions on COVID-19 as well as government mandates on mask-wearing and social distancing.
Last year, he was identified by The Globe And Mail as one of the globe’s top 10 medical misinformation “super-spreaders”. The Canadian newspaper noted that Jerinx had spread misinformation about the origins of COVID-19, as well as the conspiracy theory that Microsoft founder Bill Gates ‘planned’ the pandemic.
A Rest Of World report published July also named Jerinx as one of the two most influential people in spreading health misinformation in Indonesia. The finding came from Indonesian misinformation analyst Ismail Fahmi, whose data consultancy company Drone Emprit has mapped the spread of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccination campaigns in the country.
Jerinx took to Instagram on Saturday (August 14) to announce that he would be getting the Sinovac vaccine the following day after apparently consulting with a virologist. Footage of the drummer getting the jab at the Jakarta Metro Police HQ made the news and circulated widely online.
Later on Instagram, Jerinx declared that he has “never” been against the COVID-19 vaccine. “Since the beginning, I never said I was anti-vax. You can cross-check on the internet,” he wrote in Indonesian, per Coconuts.
Jerinx, who according to the Jakarta Post has a history of hepatitis, decided to get the vaccine after he was assured that the vaccine would not negatively affect him given his pre-existing medical conditions.
He also urged those who are doubtful of the vaccines’ efficacy to consult their doctors.
In a second Instagram post, Jerinx also reiterated that he is not an anti-vaxxer, and said he voluntarily received the Sinovac jab and was not paid to ‘endorse’ it.
Jerinx, who is based in Bali, was in Jakarta to aid police investigations into allegations that he made a threat to an unnamed social media personality.
Per a Coconuts report, a man identified as AD reported to the police in July that Jerinx had threatened to “step on his head on the sidewalk”. AD also claimed Jerinx accused him of hacking into his Instagram account.
In June last year, Jerinx faced charges of defamation and hate speech after he allegedly called the Indonesian Medical Association “flunkeys” over its requirements for pregnant women to take COVID-19 tests before entering labour. Jerinx was sentenced to 10 months in prison for his comments in November, and was released in June earlier this year.
As The Jakarta Post reported last August, Jerinx has been vocal about his belief that a ‘global elite’ – including Bill Gates – is behind the pandemic, and claimed at one point that COVID-19 case numbers were falsely inflated. He has also reportedly ignored Indonesian authorities’ mandates on mask-wearing and social distancing, and last July participated in a rally against COVID-19 test requirements for travel in Bali.
Jerinx aired several of these theories and opinions on an Instagram account that has since been deleted.
“The information on my previous Instagram account, JRXSID, which is still unavailable, is just to balance out the views [on the virus] because this pandemic has so many layers of problems and differing perspectives,” he said recently.