Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine helps prevent severe disease among those infected with the Delta variant, according to a trial involving almost 480,000 health workers in South Africa.
The study, known as Sisonke, provides the first large-scale evidence that the J&J vaccine works against this dominant variant, according to trial co-lead Glenda Gray. It’s probably more protective against Delta than it was with the earlier beta strain, she said in a presentation Friday.
The single-dose shot was 71% effective against hospitalization and as much as 96% effective against death, she said. It also demonstrated durability of eight months.
“These results show there is no need for a booster yet,” said Gray, who is president of the South African Medical Research Council.
Earlier this year J&J agreed to supply as many as 400 million vaccines to the African Union through the end of 2022, delivering a boost to a continent trailing most of the world in the race to inoculate. The dose’s requirement for just a single shot is seen as beneficial for Africa, where vaccine distribution to more than 1 billion widely dispersed people is likely to present a challenge.