"We have a program in which people who take children with disabilities or persons with disabilities (to the vaccination booth) can receive the vaccine, too. It is our effort for expediting vaccinations," acting director general of public health at the Ministry of Health, Kartini Rustandi, said in a webinar on 'Serious Attention for Children with Special Needs', originating from here on Wednesday.
According to Rustandi, it is hard to bring children with disabilities to vaccination booths. Therefore, the program has been implemented in a bid to expedite vaccinations among persons with disabilities, she said.
For the program, the ministry is collaborating with private transportation provider Blue Bird, which is in charge of picking up children with disabilities and bringing them to vaccination booths, she informed.
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on all sectors of life and community groups, including people with special needs, Rustandi said. Children with special needs are among those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, she added.
She said the government is giving special attention to special needs children, and one of the ways in which it is trying to protect them is through the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccination is essential to build the immune system, especially in vulnerable groups, she added.
Rustandi said children with special needs are the country's next generation who must also be protected.
For children with disabilities, the Health Ministry is providing Sinopharm vaccines allocated from the vaccine assistance provided by the King of Saudi Arabia, she added.
"There is a program to vaccinate children with special needs; we even received special assistance, namely the Sinopharm vaccine, which ITAGI and the BPOM have approved. It is a special vaccine supply from the King of Saudi Arabia which is intended for children with disabilities," she said.
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