The Bali State Intelligence Agency (BIN) has launched a new campaign to help get students their Covid-19 booster vaccine. The renewed vaccination effort comes as authorities reviewed data and found that uptake of the booster vaccine in younger people was below target.
Overall Bali has a high vaccine uptake rate. When data was made public last month, Bali was in the top three cities in all of Indonesia for vaccine coverage. The BIN has launched the new booster vaccine campaign to ensure that students who will be graduating this year will enter the workforce fully up to date on their vaccines.
The campaign also targets people who are regularly in crowded areas such as schools. The student’s teaching and school staff, parents, and guardians have also been offered booster vaccines.
The campaign has also been an opportunity for authorities to check in on the parents and families of students to make sure that family members have also had their first and second vaccine. Last month the Bali Covid-19 Task Force shared how the uptake of the vaccine was slower in the elderly demographic.
The Task Force pivoted their mission after the mandate for wearing masks in outdoor settings was scrapped on May 17th to run spot checks on vaccine certificated within communities. This was part of a larger effort to keep caseloads clinically low and under control as the mandate PCR test for vaccinated travelers was removed too and the movement of people across Bali for work and leisure increased.
The first stop on the booster campaign trial was a high school in Klungkung Regency. The principal of the school, Wayan Siarsana, told local reporters that so far 180 of his students have received the booster vaccine. He explained how these students are turning 18 this school year and are all in Grade 12.
The students have all received their first and second vaccines late last year and it is hoped that the booster vaccine will help them to fight off any localized outbreaks.
The authorities hope that widespread uptake of the booster vaccine in students and teaching staff will bring a definitive close to online teaching. With the vast majority of students and teaching staff fully vaccinated and boosted, the risk of an outbreak of Covid-19 within a school setting is significantly reduced.
This is considered of the utmost importance since school children have had a considerable amount of time away from classrooms during the last two years. Although schools have been open for nearly a whole school year, students are still feeling like they are behind on their studies.
The vaccination booster campaign in Klungkung Regency is being run as a partnership between Bali State Intelligence Agency and the Klungkung Health Service. The Head of Infrastructure for the Klungkung Health Service, I Wayan Karyana, told local reporters that vaccine coverage in the regency has not yet reached 100%, nor the regency target. It is hoped that this campaign will edge the community closer to the vaccine targets.
The students are reported to be feeling happy and enthusiastic about their access to the poster vaccine. Speaking to the local press, Principal Siarsana said ‘The enthusiasm of the children is very high, we announced [the campaign] through their guardians and invited parents, guardians of students and residents who have not been vaccinated, especially [those who haven’t yet had] booster vaccines to also attend”.
The increased efforts to vaccinate the Bali population have been sparked by a recent increase in cases. On 21st June the Head of Bali’s Provincial Health Officer, I Nyoman Gede Anom held a press conference to report an increase in. Covid-19 cases in the tourist hotspot of Canggu. His comments were received as slightly contentious as he suggested that the increase in cases was due to ‘free’ foreigners not wearing masks outdoors.
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