As instructed by President Joko Widodo, Covid-19 Task Forces all over Indonesia are renewing efforts to roll out booster vaccines for local people. The rush to give booster vaccines comes as the government brings into place a new mandate on the 17th of July. This mandate is making the booster vaccine compulsory for Indonesian citizens if they travel by air, domestically or internationally.
Bali’s booster vaccine program has just received an injection of support from Australian-based NGOs. The Indonesian Health Security Partnership is working in collaboration with Save the Children and the IDEP Foundation to sponsor three vaccination clinics in villages in rural Buleleng, Karangasem, and Jembrana regencies.
Booster refers to the third vaccine, and renewed, boosted, efforts to get those who are yet to have any COVID-19 vaccine their immunizations as soon as possible.
During an announcement meeting titled ‘Support for the Last-Mile Delivery Vaccination COVID-19 (Vaccine) and Risk Communication and Community Engagement’ held on Tuesday afternoon, officials spoke to the press about the booster vaccine process.
The meeting was opened by the Head of BPBD Bali Province, Made Rentin, who said that even though some COVID-19 mandates had been relaxed that the reason why progress was being made overall was due to the vaccine rollout. He impressed the importance of local people getting the booster vaccine as soon as possible.
The NGO’s involvement with the vaccine rollout is hoped to help increase the reach of the clinics. Bernando Halauwet the Quality Control Officer for the IDEP Foundation spoke at the meeting to explain how the partnership is running outreach initiatives for communities who are yet to have their vaccinations.
He said that the foundations had chosen these three areas of Bali for the booster vaccine and community program as these areas have the lowest vaccination rates.
He went on to explain how within these three areas six villages have been identified as needing the most vaccine support. He explained how in these areas the elderly population is high and that knowledge about COVID-19 and the vaccine is still low.
According to Halauwet the booster vaccination program is planned to be carried out in two villages per district. The villages have been identified as communities with who have difficulty accessing healthcare and vulnerable groups.
Halauwet told the press that ‘From the three districts, there are 6,199 people identified as marginalized such as the elderly, disabled, and others for which we have obtained data’. He explained how these people will be assisted with receiving vaccines one, two, and their booster between July and December 2022. The program will be run with flexibility so that there is time to work with the community to reassure any concerns that they may have.
The press heard how the booster vaccine campaign in these areas will include awareness campaigns and other approaches. Teams will visit the community door to door, give mobile vaccines, deliver vaccines outside of working hours, and give vaccine education through the right cultural and religious lens.
He closed his speech by saying ‘”We hope that the program will run well, and this program can support the local government’s target for the vaccine achievement in July 2022 on the Island of the Gods to reach 80 percent’
The Chief of the Impact Creation Save The Children Program, Rasianto Hamid, told reporters his pledge in support of the program ‘so the children have hope in the future because the Balinese economy will improve with the acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccine program’.
The Bali Provincial Coordinator for the Indonesian Health Security Partnership, Denny Rajagukguk, closed the meeting. He said ‘Bali is indeed a great province for optimizing vaccination. But COVID-19 is not over yet, so we are committed to helping the government accelerate this COVID-19 vaccine’.
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