- Healthcare workers can get their Johnson & Johnson booster shots through the second phase of the Sisonke trial, which ends on 17 December
- The South African Medical Association is concerned about the efficacy of the booster vaccine on offer and suggests that healthcare workers should be able to choose
- South Africans have expressed their dismay at healthcare workers needing booster shots, as it makes them question how effective the vaccine is
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PRETORIA - The Department of Health has encouraged healthcare workers to get their Johnson & Johnson (J&J) booster shots for the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the fourth wave.
The Sisonke study, which provided healthcare workers with J&J vaccines in February, closes its second phase (boosters) on 17 December 2021. Therefore it is important for healthcare workers to get their booster shots before then.
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The new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, is another reason for the health department's concern for healthcare workers, News24 reports. They not only need to protect themselves but also the patients they treat.
Healthcare workers are encouraged to get boosters, but not all are convinced
The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has expressed its concern over J&J booster shots, as they believe scientific evidence points to messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine, such as the Pfizer vaccine, is better at protecting people than the second dose of J&J.
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According to BusinessTech, SAMA said that healthcare workers must be given the decision to choose which type of booster vaccine they receive and must not be forced to take the J&J second shot.
The Department of Health responded to SAMA's statement by saying that providing healthcare workers with mRNA type booster shoots would delay the roll-out of booster vaccines, which the department is trying to avoid.
Reactions to booster shots for healthcare workers
"Top up? Does its efficiency run out like airtime? "
Top up your immune system. It's like putting petrol in your car before the price increase."
"So as more waves are coming,there's going to be a need for a top up for each. I wonder how many will make it to the 18th top up."
"Many nurses early last year were hailed as heroes, it seems from now on they will be considered criminals for not taking the jab."
"Only healthworkers then?"
Where vaccine mandates could be adopted in SA
Yesterday Briefly News reported that Business for SA (B4SA) is a South African lobby group that has urged President Ramaphosa to make it compulsory for workplaces to allow access for vaccinated people only.
B4SA's suggestion follows the president's announcement on Sunday (28 Nov) night that vaccine mandates will soon be implemented at certain venues and for specific activities, following task team meetings.
The chair of B4SA, Martin Kingston, has said that while ventilation in transport and public spaces is necessary, the government needs to further protect its citizens from the spread of Covid-19.
Source: Briefly News