J&J vaccine administration to begin next month

J&J vaccine administration to begin next month
WHO COVID-19 Incident Manager, Sacha Bootsma, addresses journalists at the PHEOC. [Sheila Ponnie, City Review]

The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have said the roll-out of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administration will start early next month.

This was disclosed to the press during Sunday’s regular COVID-19 briefing at the Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC).

WHO COVID-19 Incident manager Sacha Bootsma warned against the combination of Johnson and Johnson with any other vaccine.

“It is a single dose, meaning no combination with any other vaccine is necessary and one-shot, is sufficient to get protection against COVID-19 from this specific vaccine,” she explained.

Sacha said according to the extensive research carried out by WHO on combining different types of vaccines, only AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines can be effective when combined.

“No other vaccine has yet been investigated or has been found to provide additional positive protection besides the AstraZeneca and Pfizer combination,’’ she stressed.

Sacha said South Sudan did not have Pfizer vaccines and that it will not receive them.

“Pfizer vaccine requires  70 degrees Celsius cold chain that we have not provided in the country, so we do not have Pfizer vaccines in South Sudan and we will not receive them,” she emphasized.

She added that the J & J vaccine has six months’ validity and that WHO and the Ministry of Health would start rolling out the vaccine in October.

“We do not expect it to be rolled out until early October because the training materials are currently being revised then the training will have to follow as the health care workers are currently busy with the vaccination of AstraZeneca.”

Sacha added that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will also be distributed to all the 80 counties in the country  

“It is much easier to send out because it is one shot and you don’t need a second dose,” she said.

The medic said about 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca were remaining to be administered before the end of September when it is expected to be expired.