Volunteers from IDEP talk to one of the elderly participants in the vaccination
Lately, the trend of COVID-19 has been sloping, but vigilance and anticipation of this virus are still a shared priority. The ability to mutate this virus is still a severe threat. Besides that, the feeling of security and comfort in activities for the community is the main thing that needs to be sought in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. One good step that needs to be carried out regularly is the inclusive COVID-19 vaccination for all people, including the elderly and groups of persons with disabilities.
To support this anticipatory step, the Australia Indonesia Partnership Program for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia (SCI) and IDEP Selaras Alam (IDEP) are working with Indonesian Catholic Women (WKRI) Bali-NTB Regional Executive Board (DPD) opened a COVID-19 vaccination center at the Christoforus Hall, Maria Bunda Segala Bangsa Catholic Church, Nusa Dua, Puja Mandala Worship Complex – Nusa Dua. The “Let’s Protect Yourself Together” vaccination campaign was held on Saturday, 11 February 2023.
The vaccination center opens in the morning at 08.00 WITA and finishes at 13.00 WITA. It was recorded that there were 245 people who registered and arrived at the location according to the timeframe provided. The queue is not that crowded. The number of visitors who come reaches 30-40 people every 50-60 minutes.
In the basement hall, after registration, the service is continued with health screening, including blood pressure, blood glucose, and body temperature, before getting the vaccination injection. When finished, they will go outside while waiting for the short process of obtaining a vaccine certificate and registering data directly to the Peduli Lindungi application.
Conditions for inclusive COVID-19 vaccination registration
The time was 08.55, and an elderly person in a wheelchair started to enter the hall accompanied by his relatives. His name is Rodney Howard Grogan (80), and he is an Australian citizen living in Bali. He immediately signed up when he heard from his colleagues about five days earlier.
“Vaccines don’t necessarily stop you from getting the virus. You get the vaccine, but you can still catch the flu. But this vaccine program is excellent, very efficient,” he said.
At 10.18, a young man accompanied his grandmother, Nurhayati (67). The young man is Reza Firmansyah (21), a Bali Ambulance Volunteer. He received news of vaccination activities a long time ago from his aunt, Rina, an employee at Surya Husadha Nusa Dua General Hospital. He explained that this vaccination benefited his grandmother and himself, who got vaccinated after his grandmother’s shift. They both took the vaccination ration for vaccine dose 4 (second booster).
“Firstly, vaccination makes our bodies fitter, and secondly, it is safe when we want to go anywhere. So there’s no need to ask again; where’s the vaccine,” he explained while reminding me at the end of the conversation, “Don’t forget the vaccine, OK?”
The vaccination center managed in collaboration with health workers from the Badung District Health Office for the community in the Benoa Village area is part of the Bali Province COVID-19 Inclusive Acceleration Vaccination Program (VACCINE) being worked on by AIHSP, SCI, and IDEP. In general, this inclusive vaccination program targets explicitly vulnerable groups, especially the elderly and people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
At 11.00 WITA. Outside the room, the temperature reaches up to 31 degrees; the wind is not really felt; therefore, everyone outside the vaccination room looks sweaty. This condition did not dampen the spirit of Elizabeth Natalia Prawitasari, fondly called Icha, Chair of the WKRI DPD Bali-NTB. In the midst of his mobility in field coordination, she took the time to deliver the good news from the vaccination activity that day.
“We are happy to respond to the IDEP Foundation and Save the Children invitation to vaccinate today. Today’s activity for me is unique because it is a challenge. I remember how we did the same thing two years ago to vaccinate 1,200 people. From there, we learned how to make the process shorter and more efficient. We apply it today for Indonesia to be healthier and protected from any viruses,” she explained before returning to the registration table.
Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination at Maria Bunda Segala Bangsa Catholic Church in Nusa Dua
As the host, the Pastor of the Maria Bunda Segala Bangsa Catholic Church in Nusa Dua, Yohanes Handriyanto Wijaya, Pr. expressed his gratitude for holding the vaccination activity coordinated by the church and WKRI and in collaboration with IDEP and SCI.
“Before that, I had not received the 4th booster vaccine and had never received any information about vaccines because there was a lot of unclear information. We, the priests, are frankly confused about where to get the vaccine. With this activity, I feel helped, and it is also seen that there are many enthusiasts. This is the first time WKRI has held vaccinations and received a good response from the wider community, not only church members,” he said with a beaming face while sitting in the pastoral living room.
In this activity, it was recorded that in the vulnerable group, a total of 36 elderly people registered to take part in vaccinations. The number of vaccine registrants for dose 4 (second booster) reached 165 people, the highest compared to other doses. During the event, the 16 health workers involved were quite satisfied with the smooth running of the vaccination. By opening more inclusive vaccine access and services, it is hoped that the VACCINE program will create a healthy society and increase the body’s immunity against various virus variants.
From July to 31 January 2023, the COVID-19 vaccinations carried out by AIHSP through Save the Children and IDEP have reached 15,084 injections, of which persons with disabilities received 351 vaccinations and 7,563 vaccinations received by the elderly. By opening more inclusive access and vaccine services, it is hoped that the VACCINE program will support the Government of Indonesia’s goal of increasing the health resilience system and creating a healthy society, including preventing the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 and its derivative variants.
Article & Photo: Nicolaus Sulistyo © IDEP Foundation