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J&J says Covid-19 booster shots gives good immunological response

PUBLISHED ON 2021-08-25 20:29:00 EST Ishika Dangayach

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Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday that the second dose of its Covid-19 vaccine had a positive immunological response in early-stage clinical trials for people previously vaccinated with the single dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that single-dose J&J vaccination recipients would require boosters but has not made any recommendations in the absence of further evidence.

The findings announced on Wednesday are likely to guide the United States' booster approach, which is slated to begin in September, when the country expects to begin giving boosters to those who got messenger-RNA vaccinations, WSJ reported.

J&J researchers said users who received a booster dosage of the injection produced virus-fighting antibodies that are nine-fold higher than those found four weeks after a single dose.

Increases in antibody responses were found among vaccination trial participants aged 18 to 55, as well as those 65 and older who got a lower dose of the booster injection, according to the firm.

J&J also said that a booster injection is required after eight months, citing preliminary data published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July that indicated significant antibody responses up to eight months following vaccination with the J&J one-dose vaccine.

“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,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.

“We look forward to discussing with public health officials a potential strategy for our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination.”

While the new data is positive, the firm made no mention of the booster shots' possible influence on the delta variant or safety in its press statement.

The J&J vaccination is approved for emergency use in persons aged 18 and up and over the age of 18, Moderna's two-shot messenger-RNA vaccination has received emergency approval. Only Pfizer and partner BioNTechSE's vaccine has been completely authorized by the FDA for anyone aged 16 and above.

With inputs from WSJ

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