TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said herd immunity is difficult to achieve following the emergence of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
“We are dealing with the Delta variant that does not allow us to achieve herd immunity. This has been thought up by epidemiologists from UGM (Gajah Mada University) and Unair (Airlangga University),” said Luhut in a webinar on Tuesday, August 24.
According to Luhut, it was because the viral load or the transmission of the mutated virus is 5 to 8-fold higher than the non-mutated virus, meaning that the Delta infection is highly contagious. Besides, the efficacy of existing vaccines is still around 60 percent.
“It is impossible for us to achieve it because all vaccines’ efficacy rate is 60 percent. Whether we use Pfizer or not, nothing works [against it],” he added.
In this condition, Luhut said the government shifted its strategies from achieving herd immunity to containing Covid-19 by enforcing 3M (health protocols of wearing masks, maintaining distance, and washing hands regularly), 3T (tracing, testing, treatment), and restricting contacts.
Through the Covid-19 handling, Luhut said the government targeted the reproduction number of Covid-19 to be suppressed to below 1.
“We expect that by this October or earlier, the pandemic will be more controlled with the use of PeduliLindungi app, vaccinations, tracing, testing, and strict health protocols,” said Luhut.