Johnson & Johnson: Booster works against omicron

Glass vials of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Glass vials of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

A recent study of 69,000 health workers in South Africa found a second shot of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is 85 percent effective at preventing hospitalization.

The study has not yet been published or peer reviewed, but the company said the results are consistent with U.S. lab testing that indicates its shot might be an effective mix-and-match booster for people who have received Pfizer’s vaccine. 

What’s the latest news with omicron? Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a daily average of 334 children hospitalized with the coronavirus during the week of Dec. 21. This nears a record of 342 daily hospitalizations in September. However, doctors also report that the children appear to be less sick than many were in the summer with the delta variant.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a second at-home rapid test on Tuesday from Siemens Healthineers, but the acting chief scientist said it might not be accurate at differentiating between severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

On Thursday, Israel received its first shipment of Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill, an oral antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 symptoms. The country also approved a fourth vaccine dose for vulnerable people the same day.

COVID-19 case numbers are soaring across the country, although hospitalizations remain low. The United States set a single-day record on Wednesday with almost 500,000 confirmed cases. 

The omicron variant is fueling much of the rise, but earlier this week the CDC adjusted its original estimates of omicron prevalence significantly downward. Omicron is still the most common variant in the United States only a month after it first appeared

—With reporting from Mainstreet Daily News

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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