| Covid-19: Vaccine booster shots available soon for healthcare workers

Sunday, 31 October
30 Oct

The rollout of Covid-19 booster shots for healthcare workers who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine will start next month.
The nearly 500 000 healthcare workers who received the J&J vaccine earlier this year as part of the Sisonke study will receive an invitation by SMS on the cellphone number they used to enrol for the first part of the study, the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Department of Health said.
“We are in the final stages of approvals from the regulators and ethics review committees, and vaccination will be open to all health workers, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, who received a first dose of the J&J vaccine as part of the Sisonke study. Health workers who have received unauthorised booster doses of the Cominarty (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine after the J&J vaccine are strongly encouraged not to accept an additional booster J&J vaccine as there are insufficient safety data for such a schedule.”
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Many countries were recommending booster shots for frontline workers, those with compromised immunity and the elderly. Government and the SAMRC said research showed that booster jabs increased protection, especially against symptomatic and severe disease.
Acting director-general of health Nicholas Crisp said vaccines were powerful weapons against the pandemic.
“Our priority remains the most vulnerable groups, especially senior citizens or adults who live with compromised immunity… ahead of a fourth wave. It is our collective responsibility as individuals, families and communities to protect ourselves and loved ones, including those who we spend most of our time with. Vaccines save lives and bring us one step closer to ending the pandemic.”
30 Oct
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