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Anticipating the Increase in Covid-19 Cases with Vaccination

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By: Deka Prawira)*

The increase in Covid-19 cases in Indonesia must be controlled by vaccination. If all Indonesian citizens have been fully vaccinated, group immunity will be formed and the transition from pandemic to endemic can continue to be accelerated.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, many people dreamed of a vaccine so they wouldn’t catch the Corona virus. When the Sinovac vaccine arrived in Indonesia, crowds of people lined up to get it. But unfortunately, 1 year and 5 months after the national vaccination program was launched, the coverage of dose 2 vaccination was only around 80%.

Even though President Jokowi targets a maximum of 18 months, vaccination coverage will reach 100%. Vaccination coverage must be increased in order to form group immunity that can fight Corona. Moreover, Corona cases have recently increased again, due to the presence of the Covid-19 virus, the Omicron subvariant Centaurus variant in Indonesia, which spreads faster than other variants.

Spokesman for the Corona Handling Task Force, Professor Wiku Adisasmito, continues to remind the public to vaccinate against Covid-19. Moreover, there are 4,549 new cases per day, so vaccines are important to fight the malignancy of Corona. In a sense, when Corona cases are on the rise, vaccination is the ticket to safety from the dangers of Corona.

Vaccinations and health protocols are ways to protect yourself from the viciousness of the Covid-19 virus. It would be a shame if the enthusiasm of the people only occurred when the national vaccination program was implemented. However, when the pandemic has been going on for more than 2 years, many are lazy to vaccinate. Even though vaccination is still free of charge by the government and has been provided for people aged 6 years and over.

The national vaccination program must be intensified again, especially when Corona cases are on the rise. If many people have been vaccinated, they will not be infected with the Covid-19 virus. Herd immunity has begun to form because vaccination coverage reaches 80%. However, it would be nice if the dose 2 vaccination coverage was improved to 100%, so that more people would survive the dangers of Corona.

Then, the booster vaccine (third dose) is also still a little bit who get it. Only 22% of Indonesian citizens get it, the reason is because only 2 doses of vaccine are enough. There are also those who are afraid of booster vaccines because they are worried about getting AEFI (a follow-up event after immunization). In fact, only dose is injected during the booster and the side effects are very mild, only sore in the arm and easily drowsy.

When there are people who have not boosted , they are advised to immediately go to the nearest hospital. The booster vaccine is proven to be safe and has minimal AEFIs, and is still free of charge by the government. The booster will enhance immunity because 6 months after the second dose of Corona vaccine injection, the immunity will decrease slightly. Therefore, the body’s immunity needs to be increased again with a booster , which is given 3 months after the second injection.

Don’t take the booster vaccine lightly because Corona is getting worse. Booster is very important to enhance immunity. Don’t make excuses for not going anywhere and feel that a booster is only needed for people who will travel by train or airplane. It could be that in the future all motorcyclists, cars, and public transportation in the city, are required to have a booster.

Professor Wiku added that local governments must support and disseminate vaccinations to the public. The aim is to increase vaccination coverage in Indonesia. How to socialize with communication, awareness, and information. In a sense, local governments cannot remain silent during the pandemic. However, they must play an active role in the success of the national vaccination program in Indonesia.

Vaccine socialization can be done door to door , for example in rural areas. Before vaccinating on the spot , there is an appeal and direction, so that people are educated and are no longer afraid of being injected. They also will not fall prey to hoaxes about vaccination.

When there is vaccination socialization, people can be motivated by giving gifts. For example, residents who actively ask questions during the discussion will get door prizes for groceries. In this way, they will be more enthusiastic and willing to be vaccinated, either the first, second, or third injection. Those who have had the second vaccine will also want to be boosted.

Meanwhile, the way to socialize the booster vaccine can be through social media because it is quite effective, and the Indonesian people are the most social media users in the world. If there are images and content that show the importance of a booster it will become a campaign. There will be more people who are aware of the benefits of boosters , then they will go to the nearest hospital.

To anticipate the increase in Corona cases in Indonesia, vaccination must be intensified. People should not only be satisfied with the injection of the first or second dose, but must also be boosted. More socialization should be carried out, especially by local governments, with the aim of increasing vaccination coverage in Indonesia.

)* The author is a contributor to the Pertiwi Institute

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