J&J vaccine is working well in South Africa, says investigator

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug 6 - Johnson Johnson COVID -19 vaccine is working well in South Africa, offering protection against severe disease and death, says the head of a trial in the country on Friday.

The J&J vaccine was administered to healthcare workers from mid-February in a research study, which was completed in May with 477,234 health workers vaccinated, joint lead investigator on the trial Glenda Gray told a media briefing.

The health regulator of South Africa approved the Pfizer shot in April 2014, and it is being used alongside J&J in the national vaccine program.

Gray said the single shot J&J vaccine offered 91% to 96.2% protection against death, while offering 67% efficacy when the Beta coronavirus variant dominates and about 71% when the delta variant dominates.

Consistently after the vaccine, a very little death occurred in the control group as compared to the vaccinated group and showing a remarkable up to 96.2% protection against death, Gray said.

This was our primary endpoint and we are able to say that this vaccine protected health workers against death, she added.