Immunology expert: We still have to wear masks at least for 4 more years

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LECTURER of the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) as well as Dr. Soetomo Hospital Surabaya Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si. (Photo: Personal document)

UNAIR NEWS – Our expectation to remove masks by  2021  seems impossible. Although since Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the national vaccination program has started, it turns out that it does not immediately eliminate Covid-19.

An academic of Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si, M.Ked.Klin, SpMK. said the masks could be removed entirely after the pandemic ended. Reflecting on the pandemic disaster in 1918, it took at least four years for the pandemic to end.

“So we must wear masks for four years. And it could be even longer if people don’t obey the rules,” he said on Thursday afternoon, January 14, 2021.

The man known well as Agung explained that after the first vaccine, the body is not immediately immune. It will take at least a week to produce antibodies.

The antibodies produced, he continued, were still quite low in levels. Even in some cases, for example Hepatitis B, antibodies do not form after vaccination. So that infection is very possible even after receiving the vaccine.

“After the first vaccine administration, antibodies are still not formed. While waiting for the antibodies to increase properly, we still have to wear masks and comply with other health protocols, “said the lecturer at Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, UNAIR.

After all, he stressed, the goal of vaccination is not to remove masks. The public must remain vigilant because according to him, vaccination does not stop virus transmission.

He suggested people to stick to health protocols, such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining safe distance, reducing mobilization, and staying away from crowds.

“Vaccines do not protect us from the virus transmission process because despite being vaccinated, virus transmission can still happen, “he said.

To the public, Agung reminded that after vaccination, the body’s immunity does not necessarily increase directly. Moreover, the results of everyone’s vaccinations are not the same. Therefore, masks still need to be worn.

“The use of masks can minimize the virus that enters the body. So the amount is small and can be resisted by the immune system, “he explained. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh

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