Indonesia: hundreds of vaccinated health workers contract Covid-19, dozens in hospital


Most of the workers were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health unit in central Java, but dozens were hospitalized with high fevers and levels of oxygen saturation. falling.

Kudus, who has around 5,000 healthcare workers, is grappling with an outbreak believed to be caused by the more transmissible Delta variant, which has increased its bed occupancy rate above 90%.

Designated as a priority group, healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when inoculations began in January.

Almost all of them have received the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, according to the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI).

As the number of Indonesian healthcare workers who have died from Covid-19 has fallen sharply from 158 in January to 13 in May, according to the LaporCovid-19 data initiative group, public health experts say hospitalizations in Java are of concern.

“The data shows they have the Delta variant (in Kudus), so it’s no surprise that the breakthrough infection is higher than before, because as we know the majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia have had Sinovac, and we still don’t know but how effective it is in the real world against the Delta variant, ”said Dicky Budiman, epidemiologist at Griffith University in Australia.

A Sinovac spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the effectiveness of the Chinese company’s CoronaVac against new variants of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine this month, saying results showed it prevented symptomatic illness in 51% of recipients and prevented Covid-19 severe and hospital stays. Read more

As Indonesia grappled with one of Asia’s worst epidemics, with more than 1.9 million infections and 53,000 deaths, its doctors and nurses suffered a heavy death toll of 946.

Many now suffer from pandemic fatigue and take a less vigilant approach to health protocols after being vaccinated, said Lenny Ekawati of LaporCovid-19.

Across Indonesia, at least five doctors and a nurse have died from Covid-19 despite being vaccinated, according to LaporCovid-19, although one only received a first injection.

Coronavirus spike in Indonesia causes health experts to fear the worst is yet to come

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a senior health ministry official, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the number of doctors who have died since the vaccination program began.

In Kudus, a senior doctor has died, the IDI said.

Nadia said there had been no deaths in Kudus since the start of a new epidemic in recent weeks among medical workers and those who contracted Covid-19 have shown mild symptoms.

In the capital Jakarta, radiologist Dr Prijo Sidipratomo told Reuters he knew of at least half a dozen doctors hospitalized with Covid-19 over the past month after being vaccinated, one of them. between them now being treated in an intensive care unit.

“It is alarming for us because we cannot rely on vaccinations alone,” he said, urging people to take precautions.

Weeks after the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday, Indonesia saw an increase in the number of cases, with a positivity rate exceeding 23% on Wednesday and daily cases hitting 10,000, its highest since late February .

In its latest report, the WHO urged Indonesia to tighten its lockdown amid increased transmission and rising bed occupancy rates.

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