Jakarta (ANTARA) - Christmas and New Year celebrations present major challenges to the government's efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Chairperson of the Indonesian Allergy and Immunology Association (Peralmuni) Prof. Iris Rengganis.

"Christmas and New Year are commonly associated with the gathering of people, not only those who celebrate Christmas but also Muslims that throng the malls," Rengganis stated during an ANTARA talk show themed "Maintaining Immunity Post-COVID-19 Vaccination" monitored online here, Friday.

Rengganis noted that Christmas and New Year presented major challenges to the government, as various groups had pushed for continuing the implementation of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM).

Moreover, the government needs to ensure sustainability of the community's economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic to which end, the condition had improved in the country.

Related news: Government to limit public mobility during year-end holidays

The Peralmuni chairperson voiced her support to the government’s steps to implement PPKM and omit the collective leave for the 2021 Christmas and New Year holidays to prevent crowds that could give rise to the third wave of COVID-19.

To this end, she assessed that the government and the community should be consistent in preventing the third wave of COVID-19, which experts have forecast to occur in early 2022.

She pointed out that one of the steps to prevent another COVID-19 wave is to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations.

"The government says there must be a booster (vaccine dose) next year, which means two vaccine doses are not sufficient to prevent the coronavirus. The manufacturers of Sinovac, Pfizer and Moderna also said that three injections must be administered. All this calls for our consistency in complying with the health protocols and partaking in vaccinations," she remarked.

To boost immunity against COVID-19, the Indonesian government has launched a nationwide vaccination program on January 13, 2021. President Joko Widodo was the first vaccine recipient under the program.

Related news: COVID-19: VP urges Indonesians to help prevent potential third wave

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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