Amid the increased cases of coronavirus infections and a deadly variant, doctors in Indonesia are in the middle of the crisis, as many have died after being vaccinated by the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine called Sinovac.
The country recorded more than 20,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday that is the highest since the pandemic began. The New York Times (NYT) reported that oxygen is again running out at hospitals in Jakarta and this past week the national percentage of positive COVID-19 tests reached 14.6 per cent.
The Indonesian Medical Association on Friday said that 401 doctors in Indonesia have died, the risk mitigation team since the pandemic started. At least 20 doctors were fully vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine.
According to the risk mitigation team of the Indonesian Doctors Association, things took a downturn when 358 medical workers in Kudus were vaccinated with Sinovac and tested positive during a two-week span.
Indonesia started its vaccinations in January and has vaccinated less than 5 percent of its population. Most of them received doses of Sinovac who got vaccinated, this vaccine is believed to be less effective against certain COVID-19 variants.
NYT reported that the clinical trials of Sinovac which is a Chinese pharmaceutical company’s production and is promoted by the Chinese government but it has been criticized for a lack of transparency about its clinical trials.
At least 360 million doses are needed to properly vaccinate Indonesia and Sinovac has been the only manufacturer to provide doses in such large quantities. The number of coronavirus patients affected by the Delta variant raised from 30 people per day in mid-May to about 400 patients two weeks later. While the Delta variant spread in Kudus was as sudden as it was speedy.
It was earlier reported that in NYT that countries like Mongolia, Seychelles, and Bahrain, who had relied on the easily accessible Chinese coronavirus vaccines, are now battling a spike in infections. Meanwhile, vaccine skepticism is another headache at a time when Indonesian health workers struggling with overwhelmed emergency wards and worried about their own immunity, they thought the country might be finally emerging from the pandemic.
According to Our World in Data, a data-tracking project in Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain and Mongolia, about 50 to 68 per cent of the populations have been fully vaccinated with Chinese vaccines, outstripping the United States. Recently last week they were counted among the top 10 countries with the worst COVID-19 outbreaks.
Beijing saw its vaccine diplomacy as an opportunity to emerge from the pandemic as a more influential global power. China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, pledged to deliver a Chinese shot that could be easily stored and transported to millions of people around the world.