• Clinical trial in South Africa shows Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) booster provides great protection against Omicron

A clinical trial conducted in South Africa, in which more than 138,000 health workers were studied, has shown that the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) booster vaccine provides great protection against Omicron and greatly reduces the risk of being hospitalised.

In the study, half of the health workers were vaccinated with this booster, the rest were not.

These two injections of Janssen have reduced hospitalisation by 85%, while another study in South Africa revealed that two injections of Pfizer-BioNTech reduced it by 70%.

It can be deduced that two Janssen vaccines protect much more against hospitalisation, than two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed this booster vaccine, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended the doses from other pharmaceutical companies, due to concerns about the rare but life-threatening clot formation associated with the Johnson & Johsnon vaccine.

The South African study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but its results support the Janssen booster dose as an important piece of vaccination in Africa, where the Johnson & Johnson injection is an important pillar in the vaccination campaign. On the African continent they are notably suffering from the effects of Ómicron, a situation that could improve with the second dose of Janssen.

Johnson & Johnson has conducted different studies on this second dose at different times during the pandemic. When Delta was still predominant, one trial showed that giving a second injection eight weeks after the first greatly increased its effectiveness.

In the United States, efficacy in preventing severe cases increased to 94%, compared with 74% for a single dose.