More than 350 health care workers have become infected with COVID-19 in Indonesia and dozens hospitalized despite being vaccinated with China’s Sinovac shot, officials said.
Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health office in Central Java, said most of the health care workers were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, but still, dozens were in the hospital with high fevers and declining oxygen saturation levels.
The outbreak occurred as the region has battled an outbreak believed to be driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Health care workers, who were designated as a priority group, were among the first to become eligible in Indonesia to get COVID-19 shots when the vaccination campaign began in January.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that results show Sinovac’s vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51 percent of recipients.
But the latest cases come amid concerns about the efficacy of some vaccines against new variants.
“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 health care workers in Indonesia got Sinovac, and we still don’t know yet how effective it is in the real world against the Delta variant,” said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University.
Dr. Prijo Sidipratomo, a radiologist in Jakarta, said he was aware of at least half a dozen doctors who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past month.
“It is alarming for us because we cannot rely on vaccinations only,” he said, adding that medical professionals should continue to take other precautions.
With Post wires