The cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal by the health minister for administering booster shots to people who received the one-off J&J Janssen vaccine against Covid-19 in the wake of reports of a significant drop in efficacy.

It was also decided to extend the existing measures against the spread of coronavirus until November 9.

“The measures will be reviewed in conjunction with the epidemiological outlook of the coming days,” the health ministry said.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas pointed out to his colleagues the need to make sure that, in the near future, all the necessary actions will continue to be taken, in order to avoid a deterioration of the epidemiological outlook of the country, the ministry said.

It also said that, after examining the data of the health ministry, according to which in the July to October period, 8.6 per cent of cases and 4.2 per cent of patients who had completed their vaccination regimen had received the J&J vaccine, cabinet approved the administration of booster jabs for people who received the vaccine in question.

This concerns people aged 60 and over, those in vulnerable groups, health professionals and people living and working in nursing homes.

As in the case of people who have been vaccinated with the other vaccines, for the booster shot, a period of six months must have elapsed from the initial vaccination. Individuals in the above groups will have the choice of booster dose between Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Further details on the start of the booster procedure will be issued within the coming days.

A US study last week on over vaccinated 600,000 US found that J&J’s vaccine’s protection fell from 88 per cent in March to 3 per cent in August. Moderna’s protection fell to 64 per cent from 92 per cent and Pfizer’s from 91 per cent to 50 per cent in the same period, both of which are considered to be still quite high and effective. CNN, reporting the study was told by an FDA official that people vaccinated with J&J would benefit from a second dose.