Gov’t to Boost COVID-19 Vaccination in Regions with Low Immunity Level
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his Ministers to boost vaccination particularly in regions where immunity level of people has decreased.
According to the President, ensuring public immunity is one of the most important factors in facing future new variants.
Minister of Health Budi Sadikin reported Indonesia is one among a few countries that has successfully tackled COVID-19 variant BA.4 and variatn BA.5.
“Particularly for this variant, Indonesia has become one of few countries in the world that successfully tackled COVID-19 variant BA.4 and variant BA.5 well,” Budi said after attending a limited meeting on Evaluation of Public Activity Restrictions, at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (23/8).
According to the Minister, this achievement is due to the high level of community immunity caused by vaccinations and high infection rate when the previous Omicron wave hit.
“Combination between high vaccination rate in November, December and January and high infection rate of Omicron in February and March increased the people’s antibody level in June, July and August. That being said, when the new variant hit, we have better preparations,” the Minister said.
Serology survey from Ministry of Health and Faculty of Public Health of University of Indonesia showed that in July 2022, Indonesian people had high antibody titers.
“In December (2021) only 88 percent of the population had antibodies, now it’s up to 98.5 percent. The antibody level, which was only around 400 units per milliliter, has now increased to more than 2,000 units per milliliter. So it is proven that the Indonesian people are protected by their level of antibodies,” Budi said.
However, the Minister also said that the high daily cases in various countries will result in mutations and the emergence of new variants which are expected to occur in early 2023.
Budi also appealed the public to stay vigilant regarding the probability of new variants, one of which by maintaining level of immunity.
“The test is six months away, around January, February and March 2023. If we can tackle it well, just like today, Indonesia will become a few countries that can handle this pandemic twelve months in a row,” he said, adding that the Government in November is planning to conduct another Serology survey to identify regions that have decreased immunity levels and people who are at a high risk.
“Later, we will vaccinate them so that we can increase, prepare, and improve immunity level of the people,” he said.
President Jokowi also ordered his Ministers to explore vaccinations for children under the age of six, adding that vaccination for the elderly and comorbid groups will also continue to be increased.
“Vaccination is focused on groups of elderly, comorbid, and whose immunity levels have dropped or have been injected for more than six months. We already have the data. Later we will immediately provide vaccines for them to increase level of immunity,” he remarked. (AIT/UN) (EST/EP)