Indonesia has started the third dose or booster vaccination program on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. This program is a form of further effort from primary vaccination. A booster vaccination is a vaccination given to a person after getting the full dose or the complete primary dose. This vaccination is an effort to restore immunity and decreased clinical protection. Based on the results of a survey conducted in the community, antibody level or a person’s level of immunity to COVID-19 decreased over time. It is hoped that by giving a booster dose, the level of immunity can be increased and can extend the period of protection. In several studies, it was stated that there was a tendency to decrease the number of antibodies 6 months after primary vaccination. The implementation of this booster vaccination is very appropriate, namely in the midst of the emergence of new COVID-19 variants including the Omicron variant. This is also a form of adaptation in living during the COVID-19 pandemic for long-term health and fulfillment of the right of every Indonesian citizen to get vaccines for protection for themselves and the community.

“The aim of the booster vaccine is of course to strengthen the immune system. Humans can have antibodies because they are given a vaccine or antibodies that are obtained naturally due to exposure. We can think of these antibodies as ‘soldiers’ in our bodies. Of course, these ‘soldiers’ must be ‘trained’ regularly so as not to lose their abilities and capacities. According to several studies, human immunity to COVID-19 is decreasing over time even after receiving the primary vaccines or vaccine doses 1 and 2, so a booster vaccine is necessary. So what happens is that the ‘soldiers’ in our bodies get new ‘training’ and ‘supply’, so that higher immunity levels will be created,” said dr. Farmaditya Eka Putra, M.Si.Med, Ph.d as the Head of the Vaccine Team of Diponegoro National Hospital (RSND) of Diponegoro University (UNDIP).

“According to the guidelines from the Ministry of Health released in January 2022, the type of booster vaccine used depends on what the primary vaccine is. In addition, there are several variations in the use of booster vaccines. For those who received Sinovac as the first dose of primary vaccines can get half a dose of AstraZeneca or half a dose of Pfizer. If the primary vaccines were AstraZeneca, then a person can get half a dose of Moderna or half a dose of Pfizer. This is a combination and cannot be done arbitrarily, we must know the previous vaccination history to be a reference. Fortunately, we have a database and vaccine certificate stored on the PeduliLindungi server so that we can easily check our previous vaccination data,” continued dr. Adit.

According to him, there were reports of complaints after the booster vaccine, a number of vaccination participants reported complaints such as mild fever, pain at the injection site, aches in several parts of the body and other minor complaints. However, this can be anticipated with over-the-counter medicines such as Paracetamol, Vitamins and also by getting adequate rest.

“Booster vaccine is very necessary for anyone who has the right to get it, especially for priority groups such as the elderly and those who have comorbidity. The productive age groups are also urged to get a booster vaccine as soon as possible. According to available data, transmission occurs mostly among productive age groups because this group often meets other people. Of course, it is hoped that everyone can prevent transmission so that they are not exposed to COVID-19, but if they are eventually exposed, this booster vaccine can reduce morbidity and hospitalization rates. Finally, when the vaccine has been given, our antibodies work better than when we do not get a booster, or when we do not get vaccinated at all,” he concluded. (Lin – Public Relations)