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J&J Booster Underway For Health Professionals

Health professional holding an injection

A Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shot is being offered to health workers. There are health professionals that feel that they should choose for themselves whether to take J&J or Pfizer as their booster shot.

World Health Organisation’s Dr Katherine O’Brien mentioned that there’s some evidence that there’s a small number of people who don't respond to the vaccine in the same way as a person without an immunocompromised condition. 

“Subsequently, the new data as well as what we have seen during the third wave was showing that there’s infections, breakthrough infections with our healthcare workers that have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson as well as the fact we were thinking that, the immunity is not lasting. So, three-four weeks ago new data came out and showed that Johnson & Johnson should be a two dose vaccine.” 

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) received an application for a Pfizer booster vaccination against Covid-19 on November 17. Since it is still under review, Sahpra is assessing data of its safety and efficacy. Dr. Angelique Coetzee from the South African Medical Association says that in the meantime, health workers will be advised to use the J&J booster.

Frontline workers must be vaccinated ahead of everyone as they are the most vulnerable to Covid-19 exposure. Eligible participants are those that had had their prime dose more than 6 months ago.

The vaccine is part of the National Health Department’s roll out programme. In the case of a healthcare worker receiving their first dose of J&J outside of the Sisonke study, this ultimately means that they have already accessed a booster vaccine through other means.

There’s no need to re-register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), as persons will receive an invitation in the form of an SMS to participate in Sisonke2.

Thereafter, this will direct you to a link for informed consent and tou will have to take time to read this. When you are confident in participating, please complete the consent.

You will then receive a new vaccination voucher number starting with the letters BD- (Booster Dose). Ask your manager or watch the press and social media for details of your closest vaccination site. Sites will be available in all sub-districts.

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