About 87% Indonesians Have Covid Antibodies, State Survey Shows


INDONESIA estimates 86.6% of its population has developed antibodies against the coronavirus, even though only about half of them have been fully vaccinated.

The government held a seroprevalence survey in November and December as a basis for setting public policy against the virus, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in a statement on Friday. Some 99.1% of people who have had two vaccine doses carried Covid-19 antibodies, compared with 73.9% for the unvaccinated.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, commissioned the survey to see whether it can ease restrictions further ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan. The government has already scrapped testing requirements for domestic travel, and seeks to step up vaccinations to allow people to celebrate Eid al-Fitr more freely for the first time in three years.

Generally, the level of antibodies detected in the local population is sufficiently high to help protect people from severe illness, said Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia who’s involved in the survey.

The research involved 20,510 people from the age of one and older across the provinces, with a focus on densely populated urban areas.