The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has reassured the public that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides enough efficacy against the now dominant Delta variant.

This comes as South Africa reports a continuous rise in new daily cases – with the country having recorded 21 584 overnight. This brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases to 1 995 556 since the start of the pandemic.

SAMRC CEO, Professor Glenda Gray, was speaking during a virtual media briefing on the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“The single J&J shot works against the Beta and Delta variants of concern and so this is to assure the public that we don’t need to boost the J&J vaccine just yet. But we do need to keep following up on the participants just to see when the durability of the immune response wanes,” adds Gray.

COVID-19 variants circulating in South Africa:

Also speaking at the same briefing, Acting┬áHealth Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said the sector is encouraged by the number of people – aged between 50 and 59 – who have already registered to be vaccinated.

“We are encouraged that the number of vaccinations per day has surpassed 120 000. The vaccination of educators is progressing very well. We have so-far vaccinated just over 300 000 educators. On Thursday, we opened for persons who are aged 50 and above to start registering and this group will start vaccinating,” she said.

“As of yesterday [Thursday], we had 266 000 people registering for vaccinations within 24 hours. We need to indicate that we have surpassed our three million mark in terms of vaccinations in the country,” explains Kubayi-Ngubane.

Acting Health Minister leads media briefing on COVID-19 update: