FDA finds J&J vaccines protect against severe illness and may reduce Covid transmission
AN ANALYSIS by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong protection against severe disease and even death from Covid-19.
The research also shows that the one-shot vaccine may also reduce the spread of the virus by those who have been vaccinated.
According to the FDA, the J&J vaccine had a 64% efficacy rate in South Africa and 72% in the US.
A report by the New York Times said the vaccine also showed 86% efficacy against severe forms of Covid-19 in the US, and 82% against severe disease in South Africa. That means that a vaccinated person has a far lower risk of being hospitalised or dying from Covid-19.
While the J&J vaccine has a lower efficacy rate that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which are both around 95%, here in SA the J&J vaccine is so far the clear winner.
The NY Times reported that the Novavax’s shot had an efficacy of 49% in South Africa. A small trial in South Africa of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine found that it did not offer much protection at all.
SA received its first batch of J&J vaccines earlier this month and the second batch of 80 000 is expected to be delivered on Saturday.
Speaking during a debate on the government's roll-out plan, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said SA had joined more than 87 countries in the fight against Covid-19. “Our programme is rapidly gaining momentum. We have vaccinated 23 059 people as of yesterday. We are on course to reach 40 000 by this Wednesday (yesterday)," Mkhize said.