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Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine Proves Successful in South Africa


FILE - A healthcare worker receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, South Africa, Feb. 17, 2021.

Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 has had positive results in South Africa, the co-head of a trial, Glenda Gray, told reporters Friday.

A research study conducted from mid-February to May with upwards of 470,000 health workers showed positive results in those inoculated, and the country’s health regulator approved the single-shot J&J vaccine in Apri. It is being used in addition to Pfizer's.

The study showed 91% to 96.2% protection against death, Gray said, and 67% efficacy against infection when the beta coronavirus dominated and 71% when the delta variant did.

As of Thursday, more than 8.3 million people had been vaccinated in South Africa.

Worldwide, about 4.3 billion people have been vaccinated.

Despite the introduction of new COVID-19 vaccines in recent months, however, the virus continues to spread across all parts of the world, primarily the highly contagious Delta variant, infecting a growing number of people and triggering a new round of strict social restrictions and lockdowns.

More than 20 months after the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 global pandemic has far surpassed 200 million total confirmed infections, including 4.2 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center data released Friday.

The United States tops the list with more than 35 million cases, including at least 600,000 deaths, followed by India, Brazil, France and Russia.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Olympics organizers report 29 new Games-related coronavirus cases.

Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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