ASEAN News

Indonesian City Implements Vaccination Drives to Expedite Covid-19 Inoculations

Feature Image courtesy of Pekanbaru City Government Facebook
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Starting June 1, Pekanbaru’s ‘vaccine busses’ have made inoculations easier, faster, and more convenient for the residents in Sumatra’s Riau Province.

Proving to be a hit with the local residents of Pekanbaru in Indonesia’s Riau Province, the city’s implementation of vaccination drives in the form of tour buses have been getting a lot of great press. Buoyed by the positive outcomes of the initiative, Pekanbaru authorities have assertively doubled the number of buses that currently have 10 units deployed.

The initiative was introduced after the rise in Covid-19 cases following Eid al-Fitr festivities in May. An increase was certainly expected, but Riau’s cases have skyrocketed.

Pekanbaru resident receiving his Covid-19 jab in the vaccine bus | Image Credit: Reuters

“I hope this program will keep continuing until all the people in this town get fully vaccinated,” says Delvi, a resident who got his jab from one of the vaccine buses.

“It is closer and easier than the vaccination center.”

According to Pekanbaru officials, the vaccine buses have already administered more than 12,000 doses of the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac vaccine – roughly 1,000 shots per day. There are plans to increase the number of buses even more, but authorities have yet to confirm the exact number.

Pekanbaru vaccine bus | Image credit: Pekanbaru City Government Facebook

However, Pekanbaru District Chief Said Ahmad Zamzami said that there are still people who are suspicious of the vaccination programme due to the spreading of fake news.

“We saw some people had doubts about getting vaccinated because of fake news.” 

“We inform them not to believe that and [explain to them] this vaccine is good for our immune system. People are also more convinced now because I myself, as the head of the district, also participated,” Zamami said before getting his shot.

Roughly 11.57 million Indonesians have already been fully vaccinated (receiving both doses), and the country plans on vaccinating 181.5 million people by 2022. The vaccines currently in use in Indonesia are Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine.

To date, Indonesia has racked up a total of 1,911,358 confirmed Covid-19 cases, along with 52,879 deaths.

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