Indonesian Nurse Dies After Given Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine

    A nurse has died eight days after being vaccinated with the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine in East Java on Feb. 14, Indonesian media reported.

    Erny Kusuma Sukma Dewi, 33, tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, and was treated in a hospital, but then died. All her colleagues and friends tested negative for the virus, while her husband tested positive without symptoms, according to her employer Endah Woro Utami, president of Ngudi Waluyo Regional General Hospital in Blitar Regency.

    “[Her body] temperature is normal. [She has] no history of illness. [She is] young. She is healthy [before being vaccinated],” Utami told Indonesian Kompas on Feb. 21.

    The nurse cared for COVID-19 patients inside the hospital before becoming sick herself.
    The Indonesian government has launched a nationwide program to vaccinate all health workers against COVID-19. As a medical professional, Dewi received a first shot of the CoronaVac vaccine on Jan. 28.

    On Feb. 5, Dewi began to have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. She visited a local hospital for treatment. On Feb. 6, Dewi’s condition deteriorated and she was transferred to the hospital she worked at, receiving treatment at an intensive care unit until she died on Feb. 14, according to Utami.

    Utami said Dewi died of COVID-19 but didn’t mention when she was diagnosed.

    The secretary of the Blitar branch of the National Union of Indonesian Nurses confirmed Utami’s account when he spoke to CNN Indonesia on Feb. 22.

    Neither Utami nor the secretary said that Dewi could have been infected with the virus because of the vaccine. They said Dewi visited another town after receiving the vaccine. Beside her husband and her patients, nobody she contacted tested positive for the CCP virus. Utami said that he didn’t think Dewi was infected in the hospital.

    CoronaVac was developed and manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech.

    Sinovac ran last-stage clinical vaccine trials in Brazil, which were shown to have an efficacy of 50.4 percent—just barely passing the World Health Organization’s 50 percent threshold for regulatory approval. The rate is also lower than U.S.-developed vaccines, with Pfizer-BioNTech’s at 95 percent, and Moderna’s at 94.1 percent.

    In October 2020, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro questioned the efficacy of Chinese vaccines and wrote on social media, “The Brazilian people will not be anyone’s guinea pig.”

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