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Booster Vaccine is Effective in Preventing Various Variants of Covid-19

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By : Syafrudin Pratama *)

The government again reminds the public that booster vaccines must be carried out to maintain immunity against the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, many people cannot enter public areas such as malls because they have not received a booster vaccine or the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine. This makes the status in the PeduliLindung application yellow or even black.

Responding to this, Budi Gunadi Sadikin as the Minister of Health ensured that the regulation had been stipulated in the Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs, as a condition for entering public places or a condition for traveling. Budi again reminded people who have not had a booster vaccine, and they have a tenfold greater risk of being hospitalized due to Covid-19 infection.

Then, people who were vaccinated only one dose had a 20-fold risk of hospitalization, and people who had received two doses of the vaccine or the full vaccine still had a 10-fold risk of being treated compared to people who had not received the booster vaccine. Therefore, the author invites the public not to hesitate to get a booster vaccination to prevent severe symptoms of Covid-19, plus the public does not need to pay a dime.

For information, as of July 26, 2022, the total Covid-19 vaccine doses 1 and 2 reached 169.8 million or 81.5 percent of the target of 208 million people being vaccinated. Meanwhile, the booster vaccine or the 3rd dose of vaccine has only reached 54 million or 26.8 percent of the total target of 208 million people.

Furthermore, as part of the research, the University of Surrey created an antigen map of the latest variant of the virus that causes Covid-19. The map allowed the team to identify and measure the impact of each variant of Covid-19 on the immune system.

The results showed that immunity will decline 20 weeks after vaccination. However, the third booster vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech helps the immune system to identify and neutralize 20 different variants.

Dr. Daniel Horton, an expert in veterinary virology at the University of Surrey, explained that the emergence of Covid-19, the disruption it causes and its lethal impact on everyday life shows how important it is for the scientific community to work together to quickly identify and characterize infectious diseases.

The research carried out in mapping the various variants is part of a collaborative effort of 90 million pounds or around 1.3 trillion rupiah to tackle zoonotic diseases in Europe. The research was carried out in collaboration between the Pirbright Institute, the University of Surrey, Imperial College in London, and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). They are trying to understand how the immune response of individuals aged 70 to 89 years who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

 The Pfizer vaccine works by triggering the immune system to make Y-shaped proteins, known as antibodies, that can attach to spike proteins found on the surface of the coronavirus. If a person is infected with Covid-19, the antibodies that bind to the spike protein will prevent the virus from attaching to and entering human cells, thereby helping to protect against more severe disease.

Antibodies also act as a “beacon” that alerts the immune system to help fight infection. Therefore, such information may help us to understand whether the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death increases with reduced immunity or new variants.

Thus, the authors argue that booster vaccines have a very important role in suppressing the development of exposure to Covid-19. For people who have not received a booster vaccine, you should not hesitate to immediately take a booster vaccine to maintain immunity against exposure to Covid-19.

In line with the author, the government has also planned a second booster or fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccination. Mohammad Syahril, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said that the fourth Covid-19 vaccine program would likely be implemented if the pandemic lasted for a long time.

However, the second booster program or the fourth vaccine will only be implemented after receiving directions from the National Immunization Expert Advisory Committee (ITAGI). So it is not possible to decide in the near future.

The second booster program or the fourth vaccine has not yet been implemented considering that people in Indonesia have not fully received the first and second doses of vaccine. Therefore, the author invites the public to immediately vaccinate the first and second doses and complete the third dose of vaccination to increase antibodies in the midst of the new Covid-19 wave.

For this reason, the government has asked the TNI, Polri, and regional governments to re-encourage vaccination and tracing policies. This is done for

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