Surya, Light, and Hope
To ensure that vulnerable groups can be protected from COVID-19, the Australian Government, through the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Health Resilience (AIHSP) in collaboration with Save the Children and IDEP Foundation, held an Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church Cathedral Denpasar, on Saturday, 11 March 2023 with a target of 400 people.
This activity was held on the success of implementing the previous COVID-19 vaccination organized by the Catholic Women of the Republic of Indonesia (WKRI) and the Indonesian Deaf Welfare Movement (Gerkatin). Therefore, these two organizations collaborated to hold it back with the help of PERTUNI, HWDI, East Denpasar Health Center I, and South Denpasar Health Center II. In particular, this inclusive COVID-19 vaccination targets vulnerable groups, especially older people and people with disabilities, but is also open to the general public who meet the requirements.
The Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Bali Provincial Health Office, I Wayan Widia, SKM, M.Kes., said that the results of the COVID-19 vaccination for several doses were good, and the second dose was even close to 98%. For the vaccine for older people, he continued, there needs to be encouragement considering that older people are a group that requires special protection from COVID-19.
“I thank the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Health Resilience (AIHSP), Save the Children, and IDEP for helping accelerate vaccination for vulnerable groups of people. The hope is that this collaboration will not only be limited to vaccinations but also provide education to vulnerable groups in society,” said I Wayan Widia.
One person with deaf disabled, Surya, admitted that he felt healthy after taking this booster vaccine. He looks enthusiastic about participating in the Covid-19 vaccine with his colleagues from Gerkatin.
“I have followed the vaccine until the second booster, and I feel healthier,” Surya said, assisted by a sign language translator (JBI).
The Head of the Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) Division of the Denpasar City Health Service, Dr. Anak Agung Ngurah Gede Dharmayuda, came to the event. In this Inclusive COVID-19 vaccination, his party prepared 500 doses of vaccine.
“We are always working with communities and institutions, including foundations, to speed up this vaccine. We are preparing vaccinators,” said the man fondly called Turah Dokter.
Coverage for the first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in Denpasar has targeted more than 150 percent. Meanwhile, coverage for the first booster vaccine has reached 130 percent. However, the problem is the second dose booster vaccine, which is only 9 percent.
“For health workers, it is already high, above 100 percent, but for the general public, it is still low only 5 percent,” he said.
Herman Yoseph Babey (left) attending at COVID-19 Vaccination for all
Some of the obstacles causing the low coverage of this second booster vaccine dose are that PPKM has been revoked. Therefore, many people are reluctant to vaccinate again because they feel it is safe. He continued that vaccine stocks were also limited in the city of Denpasar, so vaccines were relocated from health services to meet the need for this inclusive vaccine.
Meanwhile, Herman Yoseph Babey, a priest at the Cathedral Church, said that the target for vaccines in this church is the general public. Vaccination doses are also given from the first, second, first booster, and second booster.
“This is the third implementation. The community was very enthusiastic. Initially, there were 300 people. Now there are more than 400 people,” he said.
Article & Photo: Nicolaus Sulistyo © IDEP Foundation