J&J COVID vaccine is effective against Omicron sub-variants – Sisonke research

CAPE TOWN – Sisonke study researchers have stressed that the J&J COVID-19 vaccine is equally effective against Omicron sub-variants.

The sub-variants are driving a resurgence in infections.

The Sisonke vaccination programme was launched in February 2021 to make coronavirus vaccines available to healthcare workers.

Safety and efficacy data of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a second dose of the jab offered up to 82% protection.

"This is very good news because it does mean that our vaccines are effective in South Africa against these variants of concern and it does also support the fact that individuals should confidently go out and be vaccinated and receive their boosts," study co-lead investigator, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker explained.

Bekker said that the study compared the efficacy of two doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, against two doses of the Pfizer shot.

"During the time that Omnicron was circulating in South Africa, we found that these two vaccines were comparable, particularly in the early phases of Omnicron against COVID-19 hospital admissions, high care or ICU and this was seen for both vaccines," she said.

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