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Vaccination still important amid unpredictable Covid spread
Published on: Sunday, January 29, 2023
By: Antara
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Vaccination still important amid unpredictable Covid spread
Screenshot--Head of the COVID-19 task force of the Indonesian Medical Association, Erlina Burhan, at a virtual press conference on August 26, 2022. (ANTARA/Prisca Triferna/uyu)
JAKARTA: The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has emphasised the importance of continuing the administration of Covid-19 vaccines for the community given the unpredictable transmission of the virus.

“(The administration of) the second booster vaccine remains important, considering that the current condition of Covid-19 cannot be predicted,” Head of IDI’s Covid-19 Task Force Erlina Burhan said here on Friday.

She then appealed to people to continue to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination program to improve their immunity.

“Do not let your guard down when there is no more enforcement of community activities restrictions (PPKM) because the transmission of the virus is unpredictable,” she cautioned.

It is even more important to get vaccinated when community mobility and activities increase, the IDI member said.

She further said she expected the community would get more assistance in getting vaccinated so that people’s interest in taking part in the vaccination program increases.

Although the results of the latest serology survey have put the Indonesian people’s immunity against Covid-19 at 90–98 percent, it is still possible for their antibody levels to decline, she added.

“The goal of vaccination is no longer to prevent (virus) infection, but to prevent the public from the severity of Covid-19 (symptoms),” Burhan stressed.

Although people can get natural antibodies due to exposure to Covid-19, the level of antibodies will still decrease, she added.

“Thus, we should not be too euphoric (about the termination of the PPKM), and we still need the booster vaccines,” she said.

On a separate occasion, epidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono told the public that vaccine efficacy could decrease over time. In addition, the level of efficacy of each vaccine is different.

“With vaccine efficacy of 50 to 60 percent, I think it is inadequate to prevent (virus) infection,” he added.

Meanwhile, vaccines with an efficacy of 90 percent and more have a high chance of preventing severe Covid-19 symptoms in people, he said.

“It is the reason the second or first booster vaccine is important for Indonesian people,” he added. 

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