In a press release on Thursday, the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) announced that it has approved a second dose or booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18.
On December 10 2021, the health regulator received an application from Janssen to amend the dosing schedule for the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Ad26.COV2.S), and the safety and efficacy data provided was reviewed and approved as follows:
“A second dose of 0.5 mL of COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen may be administered intramuscularly at least 2 months after the primary vaccination in individuals 18 years of age and older.
“A booster dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (0.5 mL) may be administered as a heterologous booster dose following completion of primary vaccination with an approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The dosing interval for the heterologous booster dose is the same as that authorised for a booster dose of the vaccine used for primary vaccination,” the statement reads.
This means that individuals who receive an approved mRNA vaccine can choose to get the Johnson & Johnson booster shot.
The health regulator also approved a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, and this booster shot will be administered to all over 18s who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. It will be eligible six months after the second dose.