Indonesia doctors fell sick, many died after taking Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine: Report

Indonesia, it seems, is a case study for a nation where the new Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus confirmed some of the most morbid apprehensions of the scientific community -- the failing efficacy of certain vaccines in dealing with particular strains.
A patient suffering from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) rests on a velbed at a temporary tent outside the emergency ward of a government hospital in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 25, 2021. (REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)
A patient suffering from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) rests on a velbed at a temporary tent outside the emergency ward of a government hospital in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, June 25, 2021. (REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)
Published on Jun 26, 2021 06:41 AM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Joydeep Bose

In an unfortunate turn of events, doctors and front health workers at the center of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) management in Indonesia are themselves turning sick, with many of them dead, after being administered the Chinese vaccine -- Sinovac. In a report carried by the New York Times on Friday, the Indonesian Medical Association attested that at least 20 doctors who have died in the country since the pandemic began were fully vaccinated with Sinovac Biotech, the Chinese-made vaccine. The vaccination status of as many as 31 others who passed away in the last five months is currently being looked into.

Also Read | Countries dependent on Chinese Covid-19 vaccines reporting surge in cases

Among the public health professionals who died after being vaccinated with Sinovac was Dr. Suhendro Sastrowiwoho, a frontline medical worker at the town of Kudus in Java. Although he had received a double dose of the Chinese-made vaccine, he died just days after testing positive for Covid-19 on June 18, the NYT report stated. Two nurses and a nutritionist, all of who had been fully vaccinated, also died this month in the same town.

Indonesia, it seems, is a case study for a nation where the new Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus confirmed some of the most morbid apprehensions of the scientific community -- the failing efficacy of certain vaccines in dealing with particular strains. An efficacy assessment earlier this year among Indonesia's health workers had indicated Sinovac's success against death from infection, but its effect on the Delta variant has not been studied much.

Also Read | China approves Covid-19 vaccine for kids as young as 3

As many as 358 medical workers, who were fully vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine, have tested positive for Covid-19 during a two-week span in the small town of Kudus, the NYT report stated, citing the risk mitigation team of the Indonesian Doctors Association. Less than 5% of Indonesia's total population has currently been vaccinated, although the inoculation campaign started way back in January. Of those who have been vaccinated, most received doses of Sinovac, which is now being believed to be less effective against certain Covid-19 variants.

Not just Indonesia, other countries like Mongolia, Seychelles, and Bahrain who had relied on the easily accessible Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, are also battling a surge in infections now, reported NYT, adding that these are also among the top 10 countries with the worst Covid-19 outbreaks as recently as last week.

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