Almost half-a-million healthcare workers who received a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine under the Sisonke study this year are to be offered a booster shot from November 8, reported Business Day (29 October 2021). The Sisonke study was devised to ensure healthcare workers could get inoculated before J&J’s shot was licensed in SA, after the government’s last-minute decision in February

to halt the rollout of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

According to acting health Director-General Nicholas Crisp, only healthcare workers who had received a J&J shot under the Sisonke study will be eligible for a booster. The new phase 3b study has been approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and the relevant research ethics committees. He said healthcare workers calls for a Pfizer booster shot could not be accommodated at this stage because SAHPRA had not cleared it to be used in a mix-and-match fashion.

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