LONDON – Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that a booster of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people get their first dose.
J&J said in a statement that an additional dose — given either two months or six months after the initial shot — improved safety. The results have not yet been published or verified by other scientists.
The J&J vaccine was considered an important tool in fighting the pandemic as it requires only one shot. But as the rollout began in the US and elsewhere, the company was already conducting global trials of whether a two-dose course might be more effective — the second dose given 56 days after the first.
The two-dose approach was 75% effective globally in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and 95% effective in the US alone, the company reported – likely a difference that led to a difference in the number of months in different countries. Variants were circulating during the study of.
Tested in a different way, the company said that when people got the second J&J shot two months after the first, levels of virus-fighting antibodies rose four to six times higher. But giving a booster dose six months after the first J&J shot resulted in a 12-fold increase.
J&K Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said in a statement, “While a single dose vaccine remains strongly effective, a booster shot further enhances protection against COVID-19 and significantly extends the duration of protection. Hoping to increase.”
The company previously published data showing its one-shot dosage provided protection for up to eight months after vaccination. It also pointed to recent real-world data showing 79% protection against coronavirus infection and 81% protection against COVID-19 hospitalization in the US, even with extra-infectious deltas. The version began to spread.
J&J said it has provided data to regulators including the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and others to inform decisions about the booster.
J&J’s one-dose vaccine is approved for use in the US and across Europe, and there are plans to share at least 200 million doses with the UN-backed COVAX effort aimed at distributing the vaccine to poor countries. But the company struggled with production problems and had to throw out millions of doses made at a troubled factory in Baltimore.
As the delta variant has spread around the world, several governments have considered the use of booster shots for several COVID-19 vaccine options.
Last week, FDA advisors recommended that people age 65 and older get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. A final decision is pending.
Britain previously authorized booster shots for people 50 and over and for priority groups such as health workers and people with other health conditions. Countries including Israel, France and Germany have also started giving some people a third dose of the vaccine.
The World Health Organization has urged wealthy countries to stop giving booster doses by the end of the year, saying vaccines should be redirected immediately to Africa, where less than 4% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Last week in the journal Lancet, top scientists from the WHO and the FDA argued that the average person does not need a booster shot and that vaccines authorized to date provide strong protection against severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death. We do.
The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.
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