IDI Encourages Booster Vaccination to Reach Endemic Level

13 September 2022 22:21 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe COVID-19 Task Force Head of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), Erlina Burhan, encouraged the public to immediately get the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or the first booster in order to help Indonesia reach the endemic level.

“I urge people who haven't had a booster yet to immediately get a booster because the more people who get boosters, the faster we'll go to the endemic stage,” she asserted.

Erlina mentioned that the third-dose vaccination coverage was still low at 26 percent, while the first vaccination coverage hit 86 percent and the second vaccination coverage at 72 percent.

In order to enter the endemic stage, a country must meet a number of conditions, such as a virus transmission rate of less than one, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent, a hospitalization rate of less than 5 percent, and a mortality rate of less than 3 percent.

Other than for the endemic level, Erlina emphasized that the booster is necessary to boost the vaccine protection that declines over time. “Six months [after the last vaccine shot, the protection] drops, so we need a booster to increase the protection level again.”

Especially for the elderly, she went on, the antibody level is not as optimal as the younger people, making a booster vaccination vital. This is why the elderly are included in the priority list of groups that will receive the first and second booster vaccinations.

Erlina also emphasized the importance of collaboration between health workers, the government, and all elements of society in handling COVID-19. She assessed that the ongoing collaboration has proven that the virus can be contained albeit it has not yet entered an endemic stage.

Erlina opined that Indonesia is one of the countries that has managed to contain COVID-19 well. However, although the virus shows a downward trend recently, she underlined that people should not be careless in implementing health protocols, including wearing masks.

ANTARA

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