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Who Shouldn't Get the Covid-19 Vaccine and Why?

Amira Sofa

12 April 2021

Since the first time the Covid-19 vaccine was distributed to Jakarta residents in January 2021, and even before that, the Jakarta Provincial Government has carried out the vaccination socialization. This is intended so that the residents have sufficient knowledge about the vaccination program. One of them is regarding the category of individuals who should and shouldn’t  get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Based on the Technical Guidelines for Vaccination in the Context of 2019 Coronavirus Disease Pandemic, individuals who have a positive history of Covid-19, pregnant and breastfeeding women, individuals under 18 years old, and individuals with comorbid diseases is not allowed to receive the Covid-19 vaccine for medical reasons. But now, there are several updates so that the groups that should not be vaccinated are as follows:

  1. People who are sick;

  2. People with uncontrolled comorbidities;

  3. Individuals under 18 years old; 

  4. Individuals with a history of autoimmune disease; 

  5. Covid-19 survivor with less than 3 months since recovered; 

  6. Pregnant women; 

  7. People in treatment of blood clotting disorders, immune deficiencies, and recipients of blood products/transfusions;

Are you curious about the reasons these groups of people are not allowed to be vaccinated against Covid-19? The Jakarta Smart City team had a chance to have a chit-chat with dr. Rhyza Vertando Halim from Jakarta Health Office in this regard. Let’s read the summary.

1. People Who Are Sick 

Basically, the vaccines distributed have passed clinical trials and received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control of Indonesia (BPOM) to ensure its safety and efficacy. This test is carried out on people who are physically healthy. So, there is no data about vaccine injections to people who are sick.

But apparently, this was intended for a reason. When someone is sick, the immune system is trying to fight the infection he/she is suffering from, so that if he/she is vaccinated, it is feared that it will cause another disease. dr. Vertando added, “Therefore, someone who is sick cannot be vaccinated and needs to recover first before getting vaccinated.”

2. People with Uncontrolled Comorbidities

You must be familiar with the term comorbidities, right? People with uncontrolled comorbidities should not be vaccinated to avoid unequal reactions. “If they still get vaccinated and their body experiences certain reactions, it will be difficult for medical personnel to determine whether the reaction originates from the comorbidities or the Covid-19 vaccine. Although usually the side effects of vaccines are mild as a sign that the body is building a protection against the virus,” explained dr. Vertando.

Then, what about the people with controlled comorbidities? If comorbidities are controlled (taking regular medication, physically healthy) and have received a certificate from the Doctor in Charge of Services (DPJP), Smartcitizen can be vaccinated as soon as possible. So, don’t forget to check up regularly, ok?

3. Individuals Under 18 Years Old 

Until now, the Ministry of Health of Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization have not issued a recommendation for Covid-19 for individuals under 18 years old, because the data from the results of clinical trials is not available yet.

But, don’t worry! Any possibilities could happen in the future. “Vaccination implementation will continue to develop in accordance with scientific research. If there are clinicals trials of vaccines for people under 18 years old later on, experts will provide recommendations to the government and the government will issue the vaccination policies,” said dr. Vertando. So, please be patient, Smartcitizen.

4. Individuals with A History of Autoimmune Diseases 

Injecting the antigen contained in the vaccine into the body will make the immune system learn to recognize these antigens, so that if in the future, we are exposed to viruses that contain antigens, the immune system will recognize them and attack it aggressively before the pathogens spread and we get sick.

However, it is different for people who have a history of autoimmune. The body’s immune system attacks itself so that when they get vaccinated against Covid-19, it is feared that the immune system will weaken and be more susceptible to infection, including Covid-19,” explained dr. Vertando.

5. Covid-19 Survivors with Less Than 3 Months Since Recovered

Are you curious why a Covid-19 survivor cannot be vaccinated if it hasn’t been 3 months after they recovered? Why does it have to be 3 months? dr. Vertando uttered, “Someone who has been positive for Covid-19 has a natural immunity. However after 3 months, the amount of antibodies in his/her body decreases so that the natural immunity is reduced as well.” Therefore, Covid-19 survivors are recommended to get vaccinated 3 months after they recover so that their immune system against the virus will be stronger. 

6. Pregnant Women 

So far, the reason why pregnant women are not allowed to be vaccinated is because there’s no data on the results of clinical trials, so that the vaccine cannot be ascertained safe for this group. Then, what if a woman just finds out she is pregnant after receiving the 1st dose of vaccine? 

“Of course, you need to consult an obstetrician to monitor the development of the baby,” said dr. Vertando. Moreover, you should not get vaccinated and your second dose of vaccination is postponed until you have given birth. “For women who are currently in a pregnancy program, it is better to postpone the program and continue it 1 month after receiving the second dose of vaccination,” he added. 

7. People in Treatment of Blood Clotting Disorders, Immune Deficiency, and Recipients of Blood Products/Transfusions 

Apart from the absence of data for this group on the results of clinical trials, experts also urge people in the treatment of blood clotting disorders, immune deficiencies, and recipients of blood products not to be vaccinated. “It is feared that complications of diseases will arise and can aggravate the person’s condition”, said dr. Vertando.

For the record, this provision applies to all types of vaccines that are distributed in Jakarta. However, the rules regarding the groups for people who are not allowed to get vaccinated may change over time as research results, clinical trials, and experts' recommendations are developed.

Vaccines for All People 

In fact, vaccination is inclusive. However, as what has been discussed, there are groups of individuals who cannot get vaccinated due to health conditions. In addition, the limited number of vaccines has forced the government to carry out vaccinations in stages based on the priority of vaccine recipients. For example, the Vaccination Phase 1 is for Health Workers, Vaccination Phase 2 is for the Elderly and Public Service Officers, Vaccination Phase 3 is for citizen who are vulnerable from geospatial, social, and economic aspects, and Vaccination Phase 4 is for other citizen and economic actors.

This priority setting is not without a reason. Health workers as the frontline in fighting the Covid-19 virus have high transmission and death rates. Likewise the elderly who have a high percentage of positive Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, the public officers who work closely with the community have a high risk of being exposed to the virus. Therefore, vaccinations phase 1 and 2 are prioritized for them.

[Covid-19 Vaccine Phases in Jakarta]

The Importance of Covid-19 Vaccination 

Ever wondered, why you should get vaccinated? What’s the benefit of getting vaccinated? Vaccination has 4 objectives, which are stimulating the immune system, reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission, reducing the impact of contracting Covid-19, and achieving herd immunity (group immunity). By being vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself, but also the people around you.

[Reasons Why You Should Take Covid-19 Vaccinations]

Source: @p2ptmkemenkesri on Instagram

What are you waiting for? Throw your doubts for vaccines away! For those of you who are not allowed to get vaccinated against Covid-19, you don’t need to worry. Let’s continue to support the Jakarta Provincial Government vaccination program until it’s finished! In the meantime, please keep obeying the health protocols. Hopefully, the summary of the interview with dr. Rhyza Vertando Halim from the Jakarta Health Office could become a helpful source of information for you.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

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Amira Sofa

Seorang penulis lulusan Sastra Inggris dari Universitas Padjadjaran. Menggemari musik, puisi, film, dan isu kesehatan mental. Saat ini, bergabung dengan tim Jakarta Smart City sebagai Content Writer.

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