(Sinovac), the chief scientist of a vaccine trial in Indonesia, died on Wednesday (July 7) of a suspected COVID-19, according to Indonesian media reports.
Novilia Sjafri Bachtiar’s death comes at a time when the death toll from Indonesia’s new coronavirus is at an all-time high. Indonesia is one of the countries where the Coxin vaccine is most widely used.
Novilia died from the coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing the Kumparan News Service. Indonesian media Sindonews quoted an official of the state-owned Biofarma as saying she was buried in accordance with the relevant regulations of COVID-19.
Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s minister of state-owned enterprises, posted a message on Instagram to pay tribute to her, calling her death a “great loss” for Biofarma. He did not give the cause of her death.
He said, “She was the lead scientist and head of dozens of clinical trials at Biopharma, including the clinical trials for the new crown vaccine in collaboration with Coxin.”
“This vaccine has been produced and injected into tens of millions of people in Indonesia as part of our efforts to get rid of this COVID-19 pandemic.”
Biopharma did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the death of Novelty, who was in his early 50s.
The infections and deaths of Indonesian health workers who received the Coxin vaccine have increased questions about the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and deaths.
According to independent data group Lapor COVID-19 ( Lapor COVID-19), 131 health workers have died since June, including 50 who died in July. Most of them were vaccinated with the Coxin vaccine.
On Wednesday, Indonesia reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time, bringing the number of infections to a record 34,379. The latest wave of infections was caused by a variant of the Delta virus, which was first discovered in India.
Preliminary results show that the vaccine has an inhibitory effect on the Delta virus variant, making the virus three times less potent, Liu Peicheng, a spokesman for Kexing Biological Products Ltd, told Reuters last month.