JOHANNESBURG — A Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is 85% efficient in defending in opposition to being hospitalized by the Omicron variant for 1-2 months after it’s acquired, the pinnacle of South Africa’s Medical Analysis Council (SAMRC) stated on Friday.
Glenda Grey offered the findings of a SAMRC examine at a South African well being ministry briefing on the COVID-19 fourth wave, which has been pushed by the brand new variant.
“We noticed an 85% vaccine effectiveness and we noticed that this sort of vaccine effectiveness is maintained for as much as two months,” she stated. “We’re very comfortable to report very excessive ranges of vaccine effectiveness in opposition to Omicron.”
The examine concerned 477,234 healthcare employees, all of them vaccinated with the J&J shot, of whom 236,000 — roughly half — had acquired the J&J booster shot.
It checked out hospitalizations amongst these healthcare employees who had been contaminated in the course of the fourth wave, and located that the booster shot lowered hospitalizations by 63% within the first two weeks after the booster, going as much as 85% after that for between one and two months.
“That is the world’s first proof of vaccine effectiveness (in opposition to Omicron) utilizing the J&J vaccine,” Grey stated.
The South African authorities have so far maintained a choice for the Pfizer vaccine — they’ve administered 21 million doses, 3 times as many because the roughly 7 million J&J vaccine doses.
However the J&J shot is taken into account logistically way more preferable as a result of it’s a single-dose routine, which is simpler to manage in distant rural areas, the place follow-ups may be tough.
The information supported already sturdy world proof that Omicron can evade vaccine safety in the case of the preliminary an infection.
Among the many contributors within the examine, there have been about 30,000 breakthrough infections in the course of the Omicron wave, in contrast with solely round 11,000 every within the earlier waves pushed by the Delta and Beta variants.
The examine additionally highlighted that these contaminated with HIV had been extra weak to being hospitalized with Omicron.
“They (these being hospitalized) usually tend to have HIV and fewer prone to produce other comorbidities as in comparison with the Beta and Delta interval,” Grey stated.
HIV prevalence in South Africa is about 13%.
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