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S/African doctors vouch for J&J vaccine’s efficacy against Delta variant

South African doctors on Friday reassured the country that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided enough protection against the deadly…

South African doctors on Friday reassured the country that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided enough protection against the deadly coronavirus Delta variant which is driving a third wave surge in Covid-19 infections nationwide.South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) chief executive Glenda Gray said a single J&J shot “works against the Beta and Delta variants of concern.” 

“So, this is to assure the public that we don’t need to boost the J&J vaccine just yet,” Gray said during a virtual media briefing on South Africa’s fight against a pandemic that has claimed over 60,000 lives since its outbreak in March 2020 in the country.

She added: “But we do need to keep following up on the participants just to see when the durability of the immune response wanes.”

During the same briefing, Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the health sector was encouraged by the number of people – aged between 50 and 59 – who have already registered to be vaccinated during the current campaign.

“We are encouraged that the number of vaccinations per day has surpassed 120,000 people. And the current vaccination of educators is progressing very well,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.  

She revealed that the South African authorities had so far vaccinated just over 300,000 educators. 

“On Thursday, we opened for persons who are aged 50 and above to start registering for the exercise. This group will start vaccinating soon.”

As of Thursday more than 266,000 people had registered for vaccination, Kubayi-Ngubane said. 

We also need to let you know that we have surpassed our three million mark in terms of vaccinations in the country,” Kubayi-Ngubane added.

South Africa has targeted to vaccinate 40 million people to create a herd immunity among its 59 million inhabitants, according to the health ministry.

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