Indonesian officials announced that more than 350 doctors and health care workers are infected with the COVID-19 virus despite being vaccinated against the disease.
The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) announced that nearly all of the recipients of the vaccines were given China's Sinovac vaccine, Reuters reported.
Many of the infected individuals were found to be asymptomatic and self-isolated at home, Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health office in Central Java, said. The ones admitted in hospitals developed high fevers and experienced a continuous drop in oxygen saturation levels.
The district is struggling to contain the outbreak, which officials claimed is tied to the Delta variant, the coronavirus' more virulent strain. The outbreak caused bed occupancy rates in the district to rise to 90%.
With dozens of affected workers hospitalized, officials are concerned about the efficacy of the China-made vaccine against some variants which are believed to be more virulent.
Health Care Workers
Indonesian authorities designated health care workers as a priority group when choosing who to vaccinate first. Inoculation of the group began in January, making it one of the first groups to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Between January to May, Indonesian officials reported a massive drop in the number of fatalities relating to the coronavirus pandemic, going from 158 to 13. However, the Java hospitalizations have generated renewed worries among public health experts.
Data gathered from the infected individuals showed they contracted the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is known to be much more contagious than the original strain. Experts said it was given that the variant would cause a massive outbreak due to the majority of Indonesian health care workers getting Sinovac, which has not yet been tested against the variant in the real world.
The efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine against the new variants remained unclear, and a company spokesman, as well as Indonesia's Ministry of Health, did not provide information regarding the data.
Indonesian doctors and nurses have struggled with the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020, with the country recording one of the worst cases in Asia at more than 1.9 million cases and 53,000 deaths. Health care workers have also been impacted by the virus, killing 946 individuals.
Authorities revealed at least five doctors and one nurse have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus despite being vaccinated. LapoCOVID-19, a data initiative group, noted, however, that one of the victims only received their first shot of the treatment, Channel News Asia reported.
The Delta variant is responsible for the country's most recent surge of coronavirus cases after Ramadan. The national holiday caused millions of people to travel to their hometowns despite the government banning traveling for an extended distance.
Officials reported 12,624 new infections on Thursday, which was double the number observed in the previous week. Authorities noted the high number of cases has not been seen since January 30. The infections come amid the country slowly approaching two million cases and nearly 54,000 deaths, ABC reported.