J&J says its baby shampoo is not meant for treating of or preventing Covid-19

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  • Johnson & Johnson says that its baby shampoo is not intended to treat Covid-19
  • A lab study does, however, show that the shampoo is effective at fighting the virus 
  • Clinical trials now need to take place to investigate the effectiveness of the product in humans


Johnson & Johnson has told Health24 that its baby shampoos are not for internal use.

This comes after Health24 published an article about the claim made on Twitter by one of South Africa’s political parties, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), that the company's Johnson's shampoo can be used in a warm nasal saline rinse as a preventative measure against Covid-19.

Word from the manufacturer 

Health24 contacted the baby shampoo manufacturer to verify whether their product can be used for the purposes claimed by the party.

They, however, said that the shampoo is definitely not for internal use.

“Johnson’s Baby Shampoos are not intended to prevent or treat Covid-19. These products are not designed to kill germs, but they can be used to wash away dirt and germs.

"Our baby shampoos are specially designed to gently cleanse baby’s fine hair and delicate scalp, and should be used only as directed on the product label,” says Melissa Muñoz, Johnson & Johnson’s Global Lead Media Relations Director.

The science behind the shampoo

While the party quotes a study published in the Journal of Virology, that found that baby shampoo inactivated the virus “greater than 99.9% with a 2-min contact time”.

However, this was done in a lab setting and no tests on humans were conducted to establish how effective the shampoo was in the human body.

Scientists involved in the study say that clinical trials need to take place to confirm the effectiveness of such products in fighting the virus. 

*Editor's note: This story incorrectly initially left out the word not from the headline when first published. It has since been corrected.

READ | Face masks and the right messaging: Without proper education, could lead to greater Covid-19 spread

READ | Covid-19 immunity: How long does it last?

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