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Indonesian Instagram Influencers, prioritized in Covid-19 vaccine

Indonesian Instagram Influencers, prioritized in Covid-19 vaccine 31

Social media influencers took first place in receiving shots of the Covid-19 vaccine on January 13, 2021, which took place in Merdeka Palace.

Together with President Joko Widodo, as the world’s fourth most populous country kicked off its vaccination drive on Wednesday (January 13), was Raffi Ahmad, an Indonesian television personality who boasts almost 50 million followers on Instagram.

“Alhamdulillah a vaccine … don’t be afraid of vaccines,” said Raffi Ahmad, the 33-year-old celebrity wrote under a video of him receiving the shot, next to a heart emoji and another of Indonesia’s red and white flag.

As to who will receive the first shots of the vaccine was a challenge to several countries, and it seems like Indonesia just hit two birds with one stone. 

This is a form of government communications strategy during the first round of inoculations to include social media influencers alongside almost 1.5 million healthcare workers, according to Siti Nadia Tarmizi, Indonesia’s Senior health ministry official.

Indonesians are among the top users of social media platforms globally, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Indonesian Instagram Influencers, prioritized in Covid-19 vaccine 32
Indonesian influencer Raffi Ahmad receives a shot of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia in a screen grab from January 13, 2021 handout video from Indonesian Presidential Palace via REUTERS.

The health ministry also did not release any list of who or how many influencers would be the first in the vaccine line, but the other influencers are to receive a shot on Thursday, included musicians are Ariel of the bank Noah and Risa Saraswati.

Since Covid-19 vaccines just started their journey, a poll last month showed just 40 percent would consider it, 37 percent of Indonesians were willing to be vaccinated, and 17 percent refused.

A few doctors have raised doubts over Indonesia’s initial use of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine – with studies from Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey showing efficacies ranging from 50 to 91 percent.

Still hoping for another possibility of acceptance boost, the country’s top Islamic council has deemed the vaccine halal.