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Beware of Corona XBB, Immediate Booster Vaccines

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By : Gema Iva Kirana )*

The Covid-19 virus continues to mutate and finally there is the XBB subvariant which has entered Indonesia several months ago. The public is asked to be more vigilant because if infected with XBB it is much more contagious than other subvariants. If you don’t want to get Corona XBB, you have to get a booster vaccine and comply with health protocols.

The pandemic has been going on for almost 3 years and it’s not over yet. The public is asked to be more patient in facing the pandemic because a new mutation of the Covid-19 virus has emerged from the Omicron variant, namely the XBB subvariant. In accordance with the nature of the virus, it continues to mutate and the results are much more vicious. It is proven that Corona XBB has caused a spike in patients in Singapore to 6,000 cases per day.

M. Syahril, Spokesman for Covid-19 at the Ministry of Health, stated that in Indonesia, the XBB subvariant Corona was detected when a patient returned from a trip outside the city. He tested positive for Covid-19 subvariant XBB on September 26 2022 and recovered on October 3 2022. The case is local transmission. Meanwhile, the people who came in contact with the patient have been  tested  and  traced  and they are all positive for Corona XBB.

In a sense, people cannot relax because the Covid-19 virus, the Omicron subvariant XBB variant, does not only exist in Singapore or other countries, but has also entered Indonesia. Everyone should be more vigilant because this subvariant is much more contagious than the other subvariants.

In Indonesia, there has been an increase in the number of corona patients due to the arrival of the XBB subvariant Covid-19 virus. According to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of Covid-19 patients as of November 18 2022 was 36,699 people, so this needs to be a joint concern.

People must be more disciplined in maintaining a healthy lifestyle so they don’t become the next corona patient. The first way is to comply with health protocols, especially wearing masks and avoiding crowds. Then, the next method is booster vaccination, aka the third injection.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, as of November 18 2022, the coverage of dose 2 vaccination has reached 73.38%. However, the vaccination coverage for the third dose (booster) is only 28.13%. This figure is of course very minimal because to form herd immunity, a minimum of 75% booster vaccination coverage is needed, so that more and more people are free from any variant of Corona, including XBB.

The public is urged to immediately get a booster vaccine so that they are free from the threat of the XBB subvariant Covid-19 virus. Saifullah Abdulgani, Spokesperson for the Aceh Provincial Corona Handling Task Force, stated that booster vaccines are very important to increase the body’s antibodies against corona. There is a decrease in antibodies after 6 months of primary vaccination (first and second doses), therefore a booster is still required.

In a sense, many people have the wrong idea that after getting the second injection of the corona vaccine, the antibodies are already strong. Even though they still need booster injections to increase their immunity. Especially when there is an attack from corona XBB which is proven to spread more quickly. Therefore, immediately go to the nearest hospital or health center for a booster vaccine.

People don’t need to worry because booster injections are still free of charge by the government, just like the first and second vaccine injections. Booster vaccines are also halal MUI and have BPOM permits, so there is no doubt about their halalness and safety.

It’s very easy to see the schedule for booster injections because people only need to check the Peduli Lindungi application and usually there is an invitation for booster injections, 6 months after the second dose injection. After receiving an invitation, just come to the nearest hospital that provides the Covid-19 vaccination.

Local governments need to socialize the dangers of the XBB subvariant Covid-19 virus to the public, especially those living in villages and remote areas. They have very little information, some might even think the pandemic is over, because many people are taking off their masks. Socialization is carried out directly so that it is clearer, especially for residents who are in the elderly category (elderly).

During the outreach, the local government also informed them of the importance of booster vaccines and gave papers containing injection schedules at the nearest health center. If there is socialization like this, there will be many residents who understand the dangers of XBB and they will immediately inject boosters.

Meanwhile, the private sector is also working with local governments by holding booster vaccinations for the public, usually held in university halls or shopping centers. This model of vaccination will entice the public so they want to be boosted, because health workers are ready to  stand by . Moreover, there are usually  door prizes  so that the vaccination enthusiasts are even higher.

The XBB subvariant corona virus has entered Indonesia and is very dangerous because it is far more contagious than other subvariants. The public is urged to be more vigilant and disciplined in health protocols. They are also required to get a booster vaccine so they are not infected with the XBB subvariant Covid-19 virus. 

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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