Dozens of health workers in Indonesia who got Sinovac jab hospitalised

JAKARTA : More than 350 Indonesian doctors and healthcare workers have contracted Covid-19 despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been hospitalised, officials said, as concerns rise about the efficacy of some vaccines against more virulent virus variants.

Most were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health office in Central Java, but a number were in hospital with high fever and declining oxygen saturation levels. Kudus is battling an outbreak believed to be driven by the Delta variant.

Indonesian healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when the inoculation drive started in January.

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

While the number of Indonesian healthcare workers dying has decreased significantly - dropping from 158 deaths in January to 13 last month, according to data initiative group LaporCovid-19 - public health experts say the number of hospitalisations are worrying.

"The data shows they have the Delta variant (in Kudus) so it is no surprise that the breakthrough infection is higher than before because as we know the majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia got Sinovac, and we still don't know yet how effective it is against the Delta variant," said epidemiologist Dicky Budiman from Australia's Griffith University. - REUTERS