South Africans were assured on Saturday that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was effective against the Covid-19 Delta variant that is currently dominant in the country.South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) chief executive Glenda Gray said evidence from a study is showing that the vaccine is lowering the risk of death and hospitalisation of those infected with Covid-19.
“Data from the study conducted among healthcare workers is showing that the J&J vaccine is effective, and reduces your risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death,” Gray said.
According to Gray, the SAMRC noted concerns from the public about the efficacy of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine against the Delta variant.
These concerns largely stemmed from research conducted by New York University researchers which showed that the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine was far less effective at preventing coronavirus infections from the Delta and Lambda (found in Brazil) variants, the professor said.
Gray pointed out that results from this research were from experiments conducted with blood samples in a laboratory in the United States.
“We’re hearing reports that people want a boost, and that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doesn’t work against the Delta variant,” she said.
She added: “However, we want to tell you from South Africa, from our experience that we have evidence locally that the vaccine works against the Delta variant.”
Gray called on all South Africans to be vaccinated, “not just 20% or 30% — but everybody.”
South Africa has set a target of vaccinating 35 million of its inhabitants by December this year.