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Johnson & Johnson vaccine could end Covid-19, FDA says

Published by Andile Sicetsha

Part of what makes Covid-19 a lethal pathogen is its high transmission rate. But, according to the US Federal Drug Association (FDA), the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine could put an end to that.

SA gets second Johnson & Johnson batch

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, an SAA aircraft landed at OR Tambo International Airport with the second batch of 80 000 J&J, right on time to refill inoculation centres that had already run up the first stock.

In a statement, the health department revealed that South Africa’s vaccine drive, spearheaded by the Sisonke Programme, is ahead of its schedule.

“Within just over one week, from a standing start, 63,648 patient-facing healthcare workers in the public and private sector have been vaccinated against COVID19. The Sisonke Programme is outperforming original targets for number of vaccines delivered in its first week and is set to continue this momentum in its second week as more sites come online,” the statement read.

In his 2021 SONA Debate speech, Dr Zweli Mkhize had indicated that in principle, South Africa has secured enough doses to achieve herd immunity.

This assertion was further corroborated by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni who, in his 2021 budget speech, indicated that more than R10 billion is immediately available for the acquisition of vaccines.

The arrival of the second batch means that soon, 160 000 of South Africa’s 1.25 million healthcare workers will be vaccinated, a sign that there is still a mountainous road to climb before we can put the pandemic behind us.

J&J reduces Covid-19 transmission, FDA finds

Still, though, there is hope. Especially, since the FDA found, in its study, that the J&J jab “is even more efficacious than previously expected with a 64% efficacy rate at preventing the more contagious 501Y.V2 variant.”

In its findings, the FDA revealed that a single shot of J&J reduces the likelihood of asymptomatic transmission by 74%. While this data has yet to be further explored, the FDA said with great confidence that this was a milestone.

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