UNAIR Epidemiology expert discourages people from starting Anti Vaccine campaign

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UNAIR NEWS – The Covid-19 vaccine program which has just been implemented in Indonesia has become a new issue often discussed by the public. An anti-vaccine movement has emerged in the community. It was made by those who refused to be vaccinated.

Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr. M.Kes., Universitas Airlangga’s Epidemiology expert said that the anti-vaccine movement is not something new because it emerged when vaccines were first discovered in the 18th century.

“So the anti-vaccine movement actually appeared when Edward Jenner first discovered a vaccine in the world in the 18th century, at that time the opposing party was from religious community,” he said on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Furthermore, Ato, revealed that the anti-vaccine movement will always exist in the community. The reason, continued Ato, is because every human being certainly has different knowledge, levels of understanding, and points of view.

“First, we need to have one perception. Do all people agree that the Covid-19 pandemic must end immediately or not, that’s the first, “said the Vice Dean II of Faculty of Public Health (FKM).

When the community has agreed to end the pandemic immediately, added Ato, there are several alternatives that can be scientifically implemented. He said, if the community applied 3M (washing hands, wearing masks, maintaining safe distance) well and massively, it would be enough to stop the pandemic.

“The problem is there are still many people who don’t want to apply 3M. Of course, this is a threat for others to be infected by Covid-19, so efforts to support 3M implementation are needed to provide immunity, “he explained.

Efforts to provide immunity, Ato continued, should be carried out in a massive scale because basically there is a mathematical calculation related to how many people must be immunized so a community can be protected, as known as herd immunity.

With the anti-vaccine movement, he said, it could reduce the number of people who were successfully suppressed, resulting in the failure of community immunization efforts.

“Actually, someone may refuse to get the vaccine, as long as the number is less than the maximum number of people who are not vaccinated,” he added.

At the end, Ato urged the public not to encourage other people to refuse vaccination. He revealed that the anti-vaccine campaign is an activity that should not be carried out.

“Individually, a person has the right to refuse, but the most important thing is not to invite someone else to refuse the vaccine because it could endanger the public interest,” he stated. (*)

Author: Dita Aulia Rahma

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).