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2 doses for J&J Covid vaccine

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Adrian Chikumbe

The Ministry of Health (MoH) says people who get Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid vaccine will now be required to receive two doses for them to be fully vaccinated.

Initially, one only needed one doze of the vaccine to be fully vaccinated, as opposed to other types of Covid vaccine, notably Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer, which have been two-dose vaccines from the onset.

The development comes at a time MoH statistics indicate that people have been getting booster shots in the country. As at March 4 2022, 58 people had received such shots.

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MoH spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe confirmed that J&J is now a two-dose vaccine.

He said the ministry would issue communication on how people in the country can get booster jabs even after initially getting two doses of any of the vaccines.

“Appropriate advice will be given on when and what vaccine [to be received]. For instance, if you had two doses of AZ [Astra-Zeneca] you will take Pfizer for a booster,” Chikumbe said.

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Health rights activist Maziko Matemba said people needed to know how they would get booster shots.

He said communication was key to successful rollout of booster shots.

“That information has to be given to people looking at scientific evidence because most of these vaccines were under observation. Whether the two doses [for J&J are] coming in because of the booster policy or for other reasons, that information has to be shared with service users,” he said.

In September last year, CNN reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration advisory committee had recommended that all adults who received the single-dose J&J shot should get a second vaccine at least two months after their first dose.

Malawi is using three types of Covid vaccine, J&J, AZ and Pfizer.

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