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COVID vaccines

Bali vaccine vacations to offer global visitors a beach and a jab

Sinovac, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca shots to be made available

JAKARTA -- The resort island of Bali will begin offering all visitors coronavirus vaccines in a bid to boost tourist traffic, the Indonesian government said Monday.

A start date for the program was not given, with Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno saying the initiative is still awaiting final approval by President Joko Widodo.

The vaccine program will take a two-pronged approach. Domestic travelers will have free access to shots made by China's Sinovac Biotech and the U.K.'s AstraZeneca as part of a national program launched in January.

Tourists coming from abroad will be able to receive vaccines made by China's Sinopharm, among others, which will likely come with a fee. The Sinopharm vaccine is being used in Indonesia through a voluntary private-sector inoculation program.

With vaccine tourism taking off in places such as New York, Bali will offer vacation packages that includes vaccinations.

Tourism to the island has plunged due to the pandemic. Because the Indonesian government has positioned the tourism industry as an economic growth center, Bali is due to reopen its doors to foreign tourists at the end of July at the soonest.

The plan to restart the intake of tourists is based on the anticipated spread of vaccinations worldwide. However, the number of new infections in Indonesia continues to top daily records, clouding prospects.

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