IDEP Foundation

Open Access and Vaccine Services for Women, Australia-Indonesia Partnership Holds Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination Services at Christmas Celebration and Carnival for 2,000 Indonesian Women

One of the residents in the working area of the Mengwi 3 Public Health Center is willing to come to the vaccination center to get a booster vaccine

BALI, 29 December 2022 – Feeling safe and comfortable doing activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a need for all levels and groups of society. Even though the number of cases infected with this virus has begun to show a sloping trend, given its ability to mutate, vigilance and anticipation of this virus must still be a shared priority. One of the steps to anticipate is the inclusive COVID-19 vaccination for all people, including women.

In this context, the Australia Indonesia Partnership Program for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia (SCI) and the IDEP Selaras Alam Foundation (IDEP) are working with Indonesian Motherland Lovers (PETANESIA) to open a COVID-19 vaccination center at the Celebration Christmas and Carnival for 2,000 Archipelago Women. The event, which PETANESIA held on 27 December 2022, occurred at the Central Government Complex in Badung Regency. This vaccination center targets vaccination doses 1, 2, and 3 (first booster for the elderly) and 4 (second booster for the elderly) for event attendees, primarily women.

Health workers from the Mengwi 3 Health Center on duty at the vaccination center

The vaccination center, which is managed in collaboration with health workers from the Mengwi 3 Health Center, is part of the Bali Province COVID-19 Inclusive Vaccination Acceleration Program (VACCINE Project) being worked on by AIHSP, SCI, and IDEP. This inclusive vaccination program specifically targets vulnerable groups, especially the elderly and persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Ni Luh Winari, who received the third dose of the vaccine (first booster) during the event, expressed her support for the vaccination activity. “The impression is pleasant and profitable. Because apart from supporting government programs, this vaccine is also for our health because the Coronavirus continues to mutate. That is, when we have been vaccinated, we already have antibodies. So even if the virus continues to mutate, our bodies are ready. Apart from ourselves, this is also for other people because we have prevented the transmission of this virus through vaccines,” commented the woman who works at a private bank.

The 40-year-old woman also shared her doubts before being vaccinated. “Honestly, I’m actually afraid of needles. Then when I saw earlier that there was a vaccine booster activity, I had doubts because I should have taken leave first to rest after the vaccine. I was afraid to get a booster vaccine. But after thinking that the benefits outweigh the fears, I finally got up the courage to just give it a booster,” she said.

Ni Luh Winari (left) is following the screening stage from the Mengwi 3 Public Health Center health worker

Regarding the latest achievements of the COVID-19 vaccination, I Wayan Widia, Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Bali Provincial Health Office, emphasized that the second dose of vaccine had reached 98%. For booster vaccines, he explained, around 75% of people who are eligible to be vaccinated have reached about 75%. Of that percentage, around 71% have been vaccinated.

According to I Wayan Widia, one of the Government’s special concerns is the elderly group. “We really need to encourage vaccines for the elderly, considering that the elderly are a group that needs protection from COVID-19. The only way is to get vaccinated. The Government has also issued a circular regarding priority vaccines for the elderly,” he explained.

For the elderly themselves, he continued, the booster vaccine rate itself is still low, only around 60%. “Currently, we are also chasing for the fourth vaccine. Until now, it has only reached 25,900 of the target of 258,000. This means that only around 5-7% of the elderly have been vaccinated,” concluded I Wayan Widia.

By opening up more and more frequent access and vaccine services, it is hoped that the inclusive vaccination programs and activities currently being carried out by AIHSP, SCI, and IDEP can support the achievement of the Government’s goal of creating a sense of security and creating a healthy community. I Wayan Widia appreciates and hopes for support from AIHSP, SCI, and IDEP. “I also thank SCI and IDEP for helping accelerate vaccination for vulnerable groups. The hope is that IDEP will not only provide vaccines but also educate vulnerable groups. We also hope that in the future, health cooperation with SCI and IDEP will not be limited to vaccinations,” he concluded.

Article & Photo: Edward Angimoy © IDEP Foundation