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Indonesian latest Sinovac breakthrough case in Taiwan

Malaysian man inoculated with Sinovac also suspected breakthrough case

A medical worker shows a vial of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Indonesian state-owned company Biofarma.

A medical worker shows a vial of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Indonesian state-owned company Biofarma. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (Oct. 7) reported a new breakthrough COVID-19 infection with China's Sinovac.

A breakthrough infection is defined as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 at least 14 days after they have completed the full vaccine schedule. During a press conference on Thursday, CECC Spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that investigations into the four imported cases announced that day are ongoing, but he confirmed that an Indonesian national who received the Sinovac vaccine has been deemed a breakthrough case.

According to Chen, the sole breakthrough infection reported that day, case No. 16,380, is a woman in her 30s who received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine in March and April, respectively. He said that she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September in Indonesia after experiencing an abnormality with her sense of smell on Sept. 9.

He said that case No. 16,381 is a Malaysian woman in her 20s who had been diagnosed with the virus in her home country in July before receiving two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in July and August; therefore, she does not qualify as a breakthrough infection. Case No. 16,378 is a Malaysian man in his 40s who was vaccinated with Sinovac on Aug. 23 and Sept. 13.

He was officially diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 7, over three weeks after his second Sinovac shot. However, Chuang said whether he contracted the virus after Sept. 27 is not known, while his Ct value of 29.9 indicates an active infection.

The fourth imported infection reported that day, case No. 16,378, is a South African man in his 30s who has not been vaccinated.

CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) in September stated that the majority of international studies show most cases of breakthrough infection have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, which is consistent with the expectation that vaccination can prevent severe illness and hospitalization, even if the infection is the Delta variant of the virus. Chang said that with breakthrough cases, the viral load in people who have been vaccinated is also relatively small and the chance of transmission is relatively lower.