Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 vaccine that is currently being used in Indonesia is effective against the B1.1.7 variant, which is associated with an increased risk of transmission, the government has said.
"The government assures that the COVID-19 vaccine currently used in Indonesia is still effective in fighting the COVID-19 mutation from England, known as B1.1.7. For this reason, we ask the public not to worry about the impact of the entry of the B1.1.7 coronavirus variant on the efficacy of the vaccine," coordinator of the expert team and government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling, Wiku Adisasmito, said in Jakarta on Thursday.
The government had earlier confirmed the mutation of the B1.1.7 variant had been detected in Indonesia, exactly a year from when it announced its first positive cases.
According to available literature and global developments in the handling of the coronavirus, the new variant B1.1.7 is reportedly up to 70 percent more infectious compared to the initial variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus found in Wuhan, China, Adisasmito said.
However, it should be noted that the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus is common during a pandemic, he added. Viruses can continue to mutate along with a high rate of transmission in the community, he continued.
"Therefore, I ask the public not to worry too much about the new variant. Researchers across the world, including Indonesia, continue to carry out research on COVID-19 and its mutations," he said.
This situation will be a challenge for researchers to develop analytical epidemiological studies, he added.
The government responded quickly after the new variant was detected as Indonesia has not yet emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
"Along with the potential for this virus to mutate, researchers will continue to carry out further research on what new mutations and variants have emerged so that we understand what the implications of these variants are and of course the solutions to deal with them," he added.
In addition to waiting for the results of research, the public must continue to implement strict health protocols by wearing masks, washing hands regularly, staying away from crowds, and reducing mobility if it is not important, he said. (INE)
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