The mass vaccination program against COVID-19 officially kicked off today in Bali, with Governor Wayan Koster being the first person in the province to receive a dose of the CoronaVac vaccine.
Indonesia launched its nationwide vaccination program against COVID-19 yesterday, with President Joko Widodo being the first in the country to receive the vaccine, which is produced by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac. This was followed by other top officials, key opinion leaders, and key religious leaders.
In Bali, the vaccination ceremony was held at Bali Mandara Hospital this morning. After Koster, Bali Police Chief Putu Jayan Danu Putra, Udayana Military Commander Maruli Simanjuntak, Head of the Bali Prosecutors Office Erbagtyo Rohan, and Regional Secretary Dewa Made Indra soon followed.
“Frankly I’ve been a little nervous since last night. It’s a bit nerve-racking but [I was] guided by prayers and good will to go through with this for the public,” Koster said after getting his first vaccine dose, as quoted by IDN Times.
The recipients are scheduled to receive their mandatory second dose of CoronaVac in two weeks.
Bali Health Agency Chief Ketut Suarjaya said that the vaccination program in Bali targets almost 3 million people, or about 70 percent of the total population. More than 30,000 have been identified as health workers, who will be among the first ones to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“After this event, we will move forward with the vaccination of health workers in three regions: Badung, Gianyar, and Denpasar city,” Suarjaya said, adding that other regions will get their turn in February.
CoronaVac only received emergency use authorization (EUA) in Indonesia on Monday, two days before the start of the country’s mass vaccination program. Indonesia’s clinical trial of the vaccine has not yet concluded, though interim results show that CoronaVac has an efficacy rate of 63.5 percent.