Jakarta (ANTARA) - Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Puan Maharani highlighted the importance of accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations for school age groups, especially in Banten Province, so children can return to school. She, therefore, encouraged more vaccinations in Banten so it can catch up with other regions.

"It is the duty of the state to ensure that children can study safely at school. So vaccination is a must," Puan said in a statement on Tuesday while visiting the vaccination center for school students in Serang City, Banten.

She then emphasized the importance of vaccines to ensuring students are safer when participating in face-to-face learning at school.

Based on information as of 19th September, 2021, vaccination coverage in Banten has only reached 40.19 per cent or 3,709,086 people out of the target of 9,229,383, she stressed.

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"For those who have been vaccinated, please help convince family members, relatives and friends that vaccination is safe," Puan affirmed, noting 95.76 per cent of the total 2,656 deaths from COVID-19 in Banten had not yet been vaccinated, while only 4.24 percent of people who died from COVID-19 are vaccinated.

"Do not be afraid to get vaccinated, as vaccination will be beneficial, especially for children who want to go back to school," she further said, explaining there are currently no areas in Banten with Level 4 public activity restrictions (PPKM) so that all local cities can implement face-to-face learning.

According to Puan, if children have been vaccinated, parents will feel calm when sending them to school.

Puan and President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) then held a video conference with two other schools, Public Vocational High School (SMKN) 1 in Cilegon City and Public High School (SMAN) 1 in Ciomas, Serang District, to discuss the plans with High School (SMA) 4 in Serang City.

Through these physical and virtual meetings, President Jokowi and Puan participated in monitoring students' vaccinations and face-to-face learning development in each school.

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Translator: Imam B, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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