Indonesian muslim cleric gets a jab of Covid-19 vaccine during the first phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccine campaign for religious leaders at Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Feb 25, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia Says Sinovac's Vaccine 98% Effective to Prevent Deaths From Covid-19


MAY 13, 2021

Jakarta. Coronavac, a vaccine made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac has been 98 percent effective in reducing the number of deaths due to Covid-19 among health workers in Jakarta, according to a study released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday. 

The result provided Indonesia with real-world proof that the government's hope would erase any doubt about vaccination as the most populous country in Southeast Asia's country struggle to keep up with its schedule to vaccinate 181 million people by March next year. 

The study evaluated Covid-19 data between Jan 13 — when the vaccination first started in Indonesia — and March 18,  tracking 128,290 health workers who had not suffered from the disease before the study period. 

The study found only one Covid-19 related death among 91,777 health workers in 28 to 63 days after receiving two doses of Sinovac's vaccine. That was equal to a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.0001 percent.


In comparison, there were three deaths among 8,485 health workers who received only one dose of the vaccine, resulting in the group's CFR of 0.03 percent. Among  28,055 health workers who had yet to be vaccinated, the study found 17 deaths, resulting in a 0.66 percent death rate. 

In other words, the death rate dropped from 66 in 10,000 people to just one after two doses of vaccination, a decline of 98 percent — a number epidemiologists refer to as the vaccine effectiveness. 

The number of Covid-19 deaths among health workers in the study

Groups Deaths Total %
Not vaccinated 17 28,055 0.66
Vaccinated with the first dose 3 8,458 0.03
Vaccinated with the second dose 1 91,777 0.001

Source: Health Ministry

"Vaccination using two, or complete, doses of Sinovac's vaccine can prevent 98 percent of death due to Covid-19," Pandji Dhewantara, a researcher at the Health Research and Development Agency at the ministry, said on Wednesday. 

Also, the study found that complete Coronavac vaccination would be able to reduce hospitalization by 96 percent. 

The number of Covid-19 hospitalization among health workers in the study

Groups Hospitalization Total %
Not vaccinated 102 28,055 0.36
Vaccinated with the first dose 24 8,458 0.20
Vaccinated with the second dose 7 91,777 0.007

Source: Health Ministry

The vaccine was almost as effective in reducing the number of infections. The number of health workers infected by the virus receiving complete doses of vaccine declined by 94 percent compared to those who have yet to receive any vaccine, the study showed. About 866 in 10,000 health workers got infected and developed symptoms when they were not vaccinated. The number dropped to 56 in 10,000 after they received the second Coronavac dose. 

The number of Covid-19 infection among health workers in the study

Groups Infected Total %
Not vaccinated 2,431 28,055 8.66
Vaccinated with the first dose 657 8,458 7.76
Vaccinated with the second dose 521 91,777 0.56

Source: Health Ministry

The government hoped Coronavac's stellar effectiveness among health workers in Jakarta would help quell any doubt about vaccination against Covid-19.  "The vaccine's protection effect is evident," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the Health Ministry spokeswoman, said on Wednesday. 

These doubts were apparent among the elderly, who seemed to resist getting the shot from themselves. The ministry's data showed only 1.8 million, or 8.4 percent of 21.5 million people above 60 years old, have been vaccinated with two doses of Coronavac so far. On the other hand, 5.7 million or 33 percent of 17.3 million private and public service workers, who start the vaccination at the same time as the elderly, have received their second vaccine shots. 

Nadia said that the government acknowledged vaccination among the elderly was still slow.

 "Our immediate homework now is to ensure the elderly get immunized. They are the riskiest group, with a death rate four times the general population's," she said. 

Indonesia has administered 22.5 million vaccines to 13.7 million people in priority groups, including the health workers, workers in private and public service industries, and the elderly since the vaccination began on Jan 13, the ministry data showed on Thursday. 

Still, according to the government target of vaccinating 40 million people by the end of this month, the country should have administered at least 70 million doses of vaccine by Thursday.

"We can see that it is still a long way to go for us to get all vaccinated," Nadia said.