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January 13, 2021, 11.17 PM – An Indonesian doctor volunteering for the Covid-19 vaccine drive in the Indonesian province of Papua has taken practicing what he preached to new levels, after he injected himself with the vaccine.

Dr. Aaron Rumainum, a medical worker in the provincial capital Jayapura, jabbed the Sinovac Covavax vaccine into his upper left arm on Wednesday, January 13, to “dispel any scepticism about the vaccine, and convince the public, particularly naysayers, that the vaccine is safe.”

“I am all too aware of the controversy and fears surrounding the vaccine and its potential side effects,” Aaron said.

“I took the initiative to self-inject the vaccine to be an example to my fellow medical workers, and to help them overcome their reservations and fears about the vaccine's safety and efficacy.”

Also read: Indonesia Have An Uphill Climb in Gaining Herd Immunity

He denied that the self-vaccination stunt was an attempt to gain publicity or popularity. “I am not a hero, I still treat and interact with Covid-19 patients, and I do not know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end,” Aaron asserted.

“I think that its best I get vaccinated so that in case anything happens, it happens to me and not to the local military commander, the mayor [of Jayapura] and other officials, much less get in the way of their jobs.”

“And besides, the vaccine is free, though I have no idea what the side effects might be. As a vaccinator, this is only a day in the life for me,” he noted with a laugh.

Also read: 15 Million Doses of Covid-19 Bulk Vaccine Arrive in Indonesia

Aaron is one of 14 volunteers who are among the first to receive the vaccine. The other recipients include Papua Military District Commander Major General Ignatius Yogo Triyono, Jayapura Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano, and his deputy Ruslan Saru.

The volunteers are among the first of seven thousand medical workers in Papua who will be the recipients of the first stage of mass vaccinations. The government has earmarked 16,480 doses of Sinovac’s Covavax vaccine to Papua.

Papua has 13,767 Covid-19 cases, following the addition of 61 new cases over the past 24 hours.

(Writer: Dhias Suwandi, Jayapura Contributor | Editors: Michael Hangga Wismabrata, David Oliver Purba)



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