| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

J&J booster slashes Omicron hospitalizations -S.African study

Researchers reported on Thursday that a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson Inc’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 84 percent effective in preventing hospitalization in South African healthcare workers who were ill as the Omicron variant spread.

The non-peer-reviewed real-world research was based on 69,092 workers receiving a second dosage of the J&J vaccination between November 15 and December 20.

An initial course of vaccination has been demonstrated to provide only little protection against Omicron infection, which has spread rapidly throughout numerous nations since its discovery in late November in southern Africa and Hong Kong.

Several studies, however, have demonstrated that a booster dosage gives considerable protection against severe sickness caused by the variation.

According to the South African trial, the J&J vaccine’s efficacy in avoiding hospitalization increased from 63 percent soon after a booster dose to 84 percent 14 days later. At one to two months after the increase, effectiveness had reached 85 percent.

“It reassures us that COVID-19 vaccinations are still effective for the reason for which they were created, which is to protect patients from severe sickness and death,” said Linda-Gail Bekker, co-lead investigator on the research.
“This is simply another piece of proof that, even in the face of a highly altered variation, we have not lost that influence.”

Bekker stated that the jury was “still out” on additional J&J shot boosters.

“What we’re proving is that two dosages actually restore complete protection, and I don’t think we’ll need a third or fourth boost at all.”

The researchers acknowledged that their study had several limitations, including short follow-up times, which averaged eight days for healthcare workers who had received their boost within the previous 13 days, or 32 days for those who had received their boost 1-2 months earlier, and could skew overall vaccine effectiveness.

Another South African research published this month found that a first round of inoculation with two doses of Pfizer-COVID-19 BioNTech’s vaccine was less efficient in keeping persons infected with the virus out of hospitals in South Africa after the Omicron strain appeared.

  • Reuters