Health workers in Bali set for COVID-19 booster shot with Moderna vaccine

A Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vial. Photo by Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr used under CC BY 2.0/Resized from original
A Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vial. Photo by Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr used under CC BY 2.0/Resized from original

Health workers in Bali are set to receive their third dose of COVID-19 vaccination with the Moderna vaccine starting today.

The program came after the central government last month ordered a rollout of the mRNA-based vaccine to health workers to boost their protection against COVID-19, as Indonesia saw its worst health crisis yet during the pandemic. 

Health workers in Bali’s capital of Denpasar are among the first to receive their Moderna jab nationwide. The city’s COVID-19 Task Force spokesman, I Dewa Gede Rai, said that 10,991 Denpasar-based health workers are being targeted in the initial phase of the drive, as they make up a sizable portion of the island’s total healthcare workforce of 40,768.

“This is in accordance with the direction from the central government to protect the health workers. Because so far, there have been many health workers who got infected [by COVID-19 after being vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine],” Dewa Rai said yesterday. 

The Moderna booster shots for health workers in Denpasar will be carried out at 40 health facilities across the city. 

The vast majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia, including in Bali, have received two shots of the vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac. Local studies have shown a relatively low efficacy rate for the vaccine, at around 65 percent, compared to Moderna’s 94.1 percent.

The COVID-19 vaccine from American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna is the first mRNA-based vaccine to be authorized for use in the archipelago nation. 

Also Read ⁠— Indonesia issues emergency use authorization for Moderna vaccines

At least 3.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine donated from the US arrived in Indonesia yesterday. Indonesia has so far received some 178 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the majority of which were the Sinovac vaccine in bulk form.

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