Healthcare workers given until 14 January to get J&J COVID booster shots

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Kevin Brandt

144 days ago
Healthcare workers given until 14 January to get J&J COVID booster shots Private sector general practitioners line up on Sunday, 21 February 2021, to receive their inoculations at Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Hospitals in the Western Cape. Picture: Lizell Persens/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Healthcare workers have until 14 January to get their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Phase 2 of the Sisonke vaccination programme kicked off in November, 10 months after the first phase.

Researchers said that although the Johnson & Johnson jab did not prevent all Omicron coronavirus infections, it still prevented severe illness and hospitalisations.

Around 50% of healthcare workers who received a primary Johnson & Johnson vaccination during phase 1 of the Sisonke programme have received a booster dose.

From February to May, 469,424 healthcare workers were inoculated, compared to 230,488 who received their booster Johnson & Johnson shot as part of phase 2 of the programme.

Sisonke Study co-lead investigator, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, said that a booster shot does provide added protection, even against the Omicron variant of concern…

“What we know from the data is when you do two of those J&J’s, two to six months apart, you really do get very good protection in the clinical trials, so you know we’re in the 92 to 96% protection range,” Gail-Bekker said.

Gail-Bekker reiterated that the vaccines were safe and effective in protecting people from severe COVID-19 disease.

“Unfortunately they don’t look as long term as we first thought, and this virus is changing itself and so for these reasons, we need to keep your protection high and the way to do that is to go and get another shot,” she said.

Health workers still wanting to get the jab after the 14 January cut-off date, will have to join the queue as part of the national booster shot rollout.

This article first appeared on EWN : Healthcare workers given until 14 January to get J&J COVID booster shots

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