Sama: Health workers should be prioritised if J&J booster jabs implemented

Last week, Johnson & Johnson released data suggesting that an additional shot might be needed to boost immunity against the coronavirus.

Vials and syringes of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are displayed for a photograph at a Culver City Fire Department vaccination clinic on 5 August 2021, in California. Picture: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP

CAPE TOWN - The South African Medical Association (SAMA) on Tuesday said that healthcare workers should be prioritised if Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots were implemented.

Last week, the company released data suggesting that an additional shot might be needed to boost immunity.

The national Health Department and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority are looking into the matter.

The South African Medical Association's Dr Angelique Coetzee said that after reviewing data from a global trial, she was in favour of J&J booster shots.

The study shows up to 94% protection against symptomatic infection after a second dose.

“The stats that have been released clearly showed that after six months, your immune system, the levels went down and those people who got a booster between six and eight months showed a huge antibody response.”

Coetzee said that healthcare workers should be first in line: “They should get prioritised. We know there are recommendations being made to the minister and it’s his decision now, his discretion whether they would allow it, but if you look at the data, it's overwhelmingly in favour of the Johnson & Johnson booster.”

More than 3.7 million J&J vaccines have been administered in South Africa.

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