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Johnson and Johnson' COVID-19 Booster Is 85% Effective Against Omicron Hospitalization, South African Study Shows

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Johnson and Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is 85% effective in protecting against being hospitalized by the Omicron variant for 1-2 months after receiving it, Reuters reported citing the head of South Africa's Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

  • Glenda Gray presented the findings of an SAMRC study at a South African health ministry briefing on the COVID-19 fourth wave.

  • "We saw an 85% vaccine effectiveness, and we saw that this kind of vaccine effectiveness is maintained for up to two months," she said. "We are very happy to report very high levels of vaccine effectiveness against omicron."

  • Related: CDC Backs mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Over Johnson & Johnson's, Citing Higher Rates Of Clotting Cases.

  • The study involved some 470,000 healthcare workers, all vaccinated with the J&J shot, of whom roughly half received the J&J booster shot.

  • It was found that the booster shot reduced hospitalizations by 63% in the first two weeks after the booster, going up to 85% after that for between one and two months.

  • "This is the world's first evidence of vaccine effectiveness (against omicron) using the J&J vaccine," Gray said.

  • The data supported global evidence that omicron can evade vaccine protection when it comes to the initial infection.

  • There were about 30,000 breakthrough infections during the omicron wave, compared with only around 11,000 each in the previous waves driven by the delta and beta variants.

  • The study also highlighted that those infected with HIV were more vulnerable to being hospitalized with omicron.

  • Price Action: JNJ shares are -0.15% at $168.50 premarket on the last check Friday.

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