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Booster vaccine is one of the keys to breaking the chain of Covid-19

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By: Ratih Safira Utami

Covid-19 has not completely disappeared, although health protocols have been increasingly relaxed and crowd events have started to be held. Apart from implementing the health program, booster vaccines are also one of the efforts to break the chain of Covid-19.

The booster vaccination rate or third dose in Indonesia, based on data compiled by the Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) as of September 2022, is still low, namely only reaching 26%. The percentage increase is also slow.

          In fact, Indonesia is one of the countries that can be considered successful in distributing the primary Covid-19 vaccine as a whole to its population. This is indicated by relatively high vaccination attainment, namely 86% for the first vaccination and 78% for the second vaccination.

          Dr. dr. Erlina Burhan, MSc, Sp.P(K) as a specialist in pulmonology and pulmonary respiratory medicine regrets this. He said that it was influenced by a number of factors. One of them is the low public awareness of the urgency of booster vaccines. Most people think that the first and second doses of vaccines are enough to protect themselves from Covid-19.

          He further explained that Covid-19 is a type of virus that is very dynamic and can continue to mutate. Moreover, the corona virus is the cause of covid-19 to reproduce when it is in the human body.        

          The new variant of Covid-19 actually forms in the body. To prevent new variants, the virus must not enter the body.

          So all people must be healthy so they can break the chain of development of Covid-19 while maintaining good habits of a clean and healthy lifestyle (PHBS). This habit must also be accompanied by a booster vaccine. No one is safe until everyone is safe.

          Next, Dr. Erlina also explained that based on a review of 50 world studies conducted by 22 independent infectious disease experts around the world, including herself, vaccines have proven effective in warding off exposure to Covid-19.

          From this review, it was found that all vaccines in circulation, both inactive virus types such as the AstraZeneca vaccine and m-RNA types such as Pfizer and Moderna, provide equal protection against the risk of transmission of Covid-19, including the omicron variant which is currently infecting the public. .

          The effectiveness rate for the three doses of vaccines, including the AstraZeneca vaccine, is between 81 and 91.1 percent. In fact, at the third dose, the effectiveness of the protection provided by all types of vaccines shows equivalent results.

          He also explained that the protection provided by the vaccine would decrease within 90 days after the injection. However, from the results of a study of the types of vaccines currently available in Indonesia, such as AstraZeneca, there is no significant reduction. This is what makes booster vaccines needed to maintain body immunity.

          In further findings, dr. Erlina explained that it was proven that all types of vaccines currently available could still protect the public from all types of mutations of Covid-19. So, there is no urgency to create a new type of vaccine that can prevent submutation of the corona virus.

          In addition, it was also found that all types of booster vaccines have an effective performance with an equal percentage of protection. In addition, booster vaccines have also been shown to prevent the risk of severe cases and death when infected with Covid-19, in individuals of various age groups, including the elderly.

          Therefore , booster vaccines are needed to fight the Covid-19 virus, especially Omicron which is currently being developed. So, people do not need to be selective in determining the type of vaccine. This is because all types of vaccines currently circulating have the same effect.

          On the same occasion, Prof. Dr. dr. Hinky Hindra Irawan Satari, SpA (K), MtropPaed as Chair of the National Commission on Post-Immunization Adjunct Incidents (Komnas KIPI), explained that all booster vaccines circulating around the world have gone through three phases of clinical trials before being distributed. In fact, the observations were continued at the post-vaccination surveillance stage.

          Therefore, people do not need to worry about vaccine safety. This can be seen for yourself, as many as 2.5 billion people around the world have received the vaccine. Until now, there have been no cases stating that vaccines are dangerous.  

          Prof Hinky continued his presentation regarding the AEFI of the Covid-19 vaccine which is often worried by the public. He said, of the 73 million doses of booster vaccines that had been given, there were only 178 complaints of AEFI after being vaccinated against Covid-19 with serious symptoms, such as high fever and shortness of breath.         

          On the other hand, from the booster vaccine numbers, there were 9,905 reports of mild AEFI symptoms, such as fever, nausea and dizziness or headaches.

          Prof Hinky continued, his party would continue to carry out safety surveillance of the Covid-19 vaccine. One of them is by observing vaccine reactions on an ongoing basis.

          Booster vaccines are one of the efforts that can be made to protect yourself from exposure to the corona virus, booster vaccines are of course important, especially now that the government has relaxed health protocols in public places. )* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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