Sisonke study successfully vaccinates more than 250 000 health workers

1 April 2021

On the 30th March, the Sisonke study had vaccinated 251,707 health workers marking its halfway point as it continues to move forward towards its target of vaccinating half a million of the country’s health workers. This unique effort, spearheaded by the South African Medical Research Council in partnership with the National Department of Health, Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, CAPRISA, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, has used research to bridge the delay posed by the need to reconsider first-line vaccine choice in the context of the 501Y.V2 variant dominant in South Africa.

‘We are proud of our colleagues and collaborators who have made an important contribution to providing COVID-19 vaccine access to health care workers in South Africa over the past eight weeks. We are looking forward to delivering another 250 000 doses by the end of April.’ –  Dr Nigel Garrett, National Co-PI Sisonke Programme & CAPRISA’s Head of Vaccines and Pathogenesis Research.

The Sisonke study commenced on the 17th of February in 18 sites in urban areas. Since then it has expanded well beyond urban centres reaching 85 sites across the country, with research staff spending many hours on the road to ensure the vaccine is distributed as equitably as is possible.

This open label, single-arm Phase 3b vaccine clinical trial of the investigational single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate aims to monitor the effectiveness of the investigational single-dose Janssen vaccine candidate at preventing severe COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths among healthcare workers as compared to the general unvaccinated population in South Africa.