Vaccine certificate for travel too risky: task force

Jakarta – The Task Force for COVID-19 Handling has said that making vaccination certificates a requirement for travel would be risky in the absence of individual immunity tests for those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In principle, we still need further study on the effectiveness of the vaccine in creating individual immunity in those who have been vaccinated,” task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said during an online press conference here on Thursday.

During a hearing with Commission IX of the House of Representatives, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin brought attention to the ongoing discourse on making COVID-19 vaccination certificates a requirement for travel, so people would no longer have to furnish negative COVID-19 tests.

“Until now, it (vaccine certificates) remains a discourse,” Adisasmito remarked.

Some countries such as China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have proposed similar requirements and are preparing to issue “vaccine passports” to promote travel, he said.

“If a certificate is issued without study to prove individual immunity establishment, then the certificate holder has the potential to get infected or transmit the virus during the journey,” he cautioned.

Earlier, the government had asked public transportation users to carry negative results of antigen swab tests, or PCR tests. Railway travelers, in particular, were asked to furnish the GeNose breathalyzer test results.

According to the Health Minister, individual antibodies against the coronavirus optimally develop 28 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine

However, those who have received the vaccine can still be infected with COVID-19, though they may get minor symptoms, and transmit the virus to others, Sadikin said.

According to data from the task force, as of Thursday (March 18, 2021), the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 44,848,752 people in the country, with 1,948,531 recipients obtaining the second dose as well.

The number is still far below the vaccination target of 181.5 million people set by the government to build herd immunity against COVID-19. (INE)

Source: Antara News

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