Instagram influencers are a vaccine priority in wary Indonesia

Social media influencers are among the first in line for vaccines in Indonesia.

Alongside President Joko Widodo as the world’s fourth most populous country kicked off its vaccination drive was Raffi Ahmad, who has almost 50 million Instagram followers.

The 33-year-old celebrity wrote under a video of him receiving the shot, “[Praise be to God] a vaccine … Don’t be afraid of vaccines.”

Deciding who should be first in line for limited vaccine doses has been a challenge globally, with many countries prioritizing medics and the elderly.

A health ministry official said including influencers alongside almost 1.5 million healthcare workers in the first round of inoculations was a deliberate government communications strategy.

However, the decision to include social media influencers on the priority list backfired somewhat when photos of Raffi showed him partying hours after he was given the injection – which does not confer immediate immunity.

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