JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Ministry of Health is planning to administer the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to the general public within 12 months following a recommendation made by the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI).
Based on the recommendation, the booster shots are needed considering immunity starts to decline after six months of the second shot of the Sinovac vaccine.
“There is a decrease in an antibody titer from Sinovac vaccine so that a booster shot is recommended but it needs to wait for 12 months [after the second dose],” said Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokesperson for the ministry’s Covid-19 Vaccination Program during a virtual discussion on Wednesday, August 4.
“Next year, we will administer booster shots to the general public,” Nadia added.
So far, she said, booster shots will only be provided for the health care workers as they could be at greater risk of Covid-19 than other groups.
"We know health care workers could be at substantially greater risk of Covid-19 when the cases increase, so the protection needs to be stronger,” she said.
She went on to say that ITAGI also suggested that there should be supporting research to obtain evidence-based data to determine booster vaccination in all communities. The recommended research is to conduct a random examination of antibody titer against receptor-binding domain (RBD) at 2-4 weeks post-booster vaccination. Then, to monitor the break-through of severe Covid-19 cases in all health workers who were given booster shots.
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