JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The government, through the COVID-19 Handling and Economic Recovery (KPCPEN) continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia by accelerating the preparation of the Sinovac vaccine, which is currently entering stage III clinical trials and has administered to all volunteers.
The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) oversees the development of Sinovac vaccine research and ensures the safety and efficacy of vaccines before conducting the mass vaccination program.
Prof. Dr. dr. Cissy Kartasasmita , Sp.A (K), M.Sc of the Padjajaran University’s Faculty of Medicine said that Sinovac had shown satisfactory results in phase one and two clinical trials. Unfortunately, many people have fallen for COVID-19 vaccine’s myths and hoaxes that are going viral, which potentially hinder the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia.
"Vaccines have been known to prevent infectious disease, but some people are still questioning its safety and efficacy, including the COVID-19 candidate vaccines, which has yet to pass the clinical trials," said Prof. Cissy.
Facts and Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Here are the common myths related to the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Most people are skepticism with the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, that are currently in the trial phase.
- The possibility of adverse side effects and death when inoculated into volunteers.
The public is concerned over security matter as vacciness development is considered fast. However, Prof. Cissy stated that the advanced technology, human resources, and an adequate budget could accelerate the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The safety reports for phases one and two of the COVID-19 vaccines’s clinical trials have been published in international publications and presented positive results. No side effects were found in volunteers. The trial’s success rate has also attracted over 2,000 volunteers to participate in phase three clinical trial in Bandung.
"Out of the 2,000 volunteers, there are 1,620 volunteers that are eligible to participate. Having been vaccinated, they are now waiting for the official test report," said Prof. Cissy.
Responding to the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, Prof. Cissy emphasized that information about volunteers who were seriously ill or died due to the vaccine trials was not true. The investigation result reveals that the sickness was not directly related to vaccination. The clinical trial results also do not show any unusual response from the volunteers.
"If we vaccinate enough people, the herd immunity will occur. With this mechanism, even people that cannot be vaccinated, such as infants or those with immune disorders, can be protected," said Prof. Cissy.
Overcoming the Myths and Misconceptions
As a solution, the government needs to collaborate with the experts and doctors, while clarifying any misconception to fight myths and hoaxes about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The media also has an important role in disseminating the correct information about vaccines to the public. By doing so, it will convince the public while fending off misinformation.
The public is also encouraged to be more critical when sharing any information about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. "Before sharing any information, the public must verify the accuracy of the information and leave out any fake news," concluded Prof. Cissy.
Vaccines are indeed a precautionary measure against certain infections. While waiting for the procurement of the vaccine, the public must follow strict health protocols and comply with the 3M behavior (wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining a safe distance).
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