J&J Booster Shot Raises Antibody Levels

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Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has released data supporting the use of its booster shot in vaccinated individuals.

As the rest of the world struggles to get their hands on a COVID-19 vaccine, Western countries prepare for booster shots. Earlier this week, the CDC authorized booster shots for immunocompromised individuals in the US. Starting September 20th, the US will start administering booster shots. The shots will go to those who have completed their two-dose regimen of either Pfizer or Moderna. Although Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was not part of the booster shot plans, they are hoping to change all that.

In a recent press release, the company announced new interim data supporting the use of its booster shot in those previously vaccinated with its single-dose vaccine.

We have established that a single shot of our COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months. With these new data, we also see that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine.

Dr. Mathai Mammen, Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson.

The company conducted new Phase 1/2a studies on individuals previously vaccinated with its vaccine. They received the second dose six to eight months after their previous shot. According to the results, a booster dose led to ninefold higher antibody levels than 28 days after the original vaccination. The significant antibody response was not only observed in 18 to 55-year-olds but also those 65 years and older who had received a lower dose. However, it is unclear how many participants the study included. Or the duration between the first dose and booster shot. Moreover, the study has yet to undergo a peer review.

Researchers Criticize Booster Rollout

J&J have submitted their data to multiple health authorities in the hopes to receive a recommendation of their booster shot. Including the FDA and CDC.

Approximately 14 million people in the US have already received the J&J vaccine. However, the recent spread of the delta variant has led to people worrying about a booster shot. Previous data from a lab study had also shown antibody levels against delta variant lasting up to 8 months after vaccination. But none of these studies includes real-world data.

Although booster shots are necessary for sustaining an immune response, many researchers have criticized the booster rollout plan. While some virologists deem them unnecessary, some believe it will just fuel vaccine inequality even further. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has even placed a temporary ban on the administration of COVID-19 booster shots. However, countries such as the UK, US, and Israel are continuing with their plans.

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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