Transmission Control Determines Vaccination Success
Efforts to control the transmission of COVID-19 will determine the success of the vaccination program.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Efforts to control the transmission of COVID-19 will determine the success of the vaccination program. If the transmission rate remains high, the vaccination to build herd immunity may not be effective.
A health service researcher who is also a lecturer at the School of Medicine at the Jenderal Soedirman University, Joko Mulyanto, has reminded the public that controlling the transmission of COVID-19 will be the key to successful vaccination.
Therefore, the government should not impose half-hearted large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). If the PSBB are relaxed, they will torment residents and result in a failure in the efforts to cut off the transmission.
Moreover, the emergence of a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 from a mutation is feared to affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. In addition, there is another variant of the COVID-19 virus found in South Africa, believed to be more contagious.
The British variant B.1.1.7 has been found in 40 countries, while the 501Y.V2 variant from South Africa has been discovered in six other countries. The weekly epidemiology report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan. 5, 2021 indicated that indicated that for three weeks in a row, there were more than 4 million new cases of COVID-19 globally, while new deaths increased by 3 percent to 76,000.
Procurement of vaccines
Indonesia has signed a memorandum of understanding for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine through multilateral cooperation under the COVAX facility. Through this cooperation, Indonesia is expected to be able to receive 108 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for free.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the government had secured a commitment to get 125 million doses from Sinovac (China), 50 million doses from AstraZeneca (UK), and 50 million doses from Novavax (America-Canada). In addition, efforts have also been made to get access to receive vaccines produced by German company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer.
"With the potential of 108 million doses under the COVAX facility, it is hoped that the vaccine needs for 180 million Indonesians can be fulfilled," Budi Gunadi Sadikin said after the signing of the vaccine procurement form from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) -Covax Facility virtually together with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati in Jakarta on Thursday (7/1/2021).
Sri Mulyani said that the estimated spending on vaccines and vaccination programs was projected to reach Rp 73 trillion. The procurement of vaccines through the COVAX facility helps reduce government spending in fulfilling the vaccine needs in Indonesia.
With the potential of 108 million doses under the COVAX facility, it is hoped that the vaccine needs for 180 million Indonesians can be fulfilled
Meanwhile, vaccine raw materials from Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinovac, to meet the target of 250 million doses for national vaccination will arrive in mid-January 2021. The vaccine distribution will be monitored from Bandung.
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, during his inspection of PT Bio Farma in Bandung on Thursday, said that the pharmaceutical company had received a certificate for the production of 100 million vaccine doses. His office is waiting for vaccine certificate approval for the next 150 million doses.
"For (procurement) of 250 million doses, we have been ready, and 100 million of them have been certified. This product will be distributed later for the national vaccination program," he said.
A number of regions are currently preparing to implement the vaccination program. A total of 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Sinovac have been delivered to Bali. North Sumatra has prepared 2,500 COVID-19 vaccinators. North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said he was ready to be the first person vaccinated. The status of the COVID-19 vaccine will greatly determine the success of achieving the COVID-19 vaccination target in West Sumatra. An online survey conducted by WHO, the Health Ministry, ITAGI, and Unicef in September 2020 placed West Sumatra as the second lowest province in Indonesia in terms of vaccine acceptance by the public.
Andalas University epidemiologist Defriman Djafri said the low acceptance of the West Sumatra community in the survey was influenced by the level of public trust in COVID-19. The Politika Institute Spectrum Survey on Sept. 10-15, 2020 said 39.9 percent of residents in West Sumatra believed that COVID-19 was part of a conspiracy of the great powers in the world.
In addition, public doubts about the safety and halal status of the COVID-19 vaccine due to the delay in the third phase of clinical trials was partly caused the low acceptance of residents. The government plans to start vaccination symbolically on Jan. 13, 2021, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo set to be given the first shot, followed by the provincial governments on Jan. 14.
Another factor, according to Defriman, was that some residents did not understand why the vaccine had been distributed when the third phase of the clinical trial had not yet been completed. The government must answer this matter to prevent misunderstanding.
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The new daily COVID-19 cases in Indonesia reached its record high at 9,321 on Thursday (7/1/2021). Due to the sharp increase in new cases, many hospitals are full and no longer able to receive new patients.
Additional cases were obtained from examinations of 44,791 people, with the positive case ratio (positivity rate) of 20 percent. The ratio of positive cases in a week is 22.9 percent, indicating that out of five people tested, one is positive for COVID-19.
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As many as 29 percent of examinations were carried out in Jakarta, which indicated a high gap in test coverage with other regions, apart from a very low number. The calculation, based on epidemiological data from Imperial College London, show that in Indonesia there are an estimated 100,835 daily cases.
This situation shows that many cases could not be found due to limited testing and tracing. As a result, the transmission rate was high and triggered an increase in the number of patients in the hospitals. (AIK / TAN / RTG / JOL / NSA / IDO / COK)
This article was translated by Hendarsyah Tarmizi.