Johnson & Johnson booster shot generates increased immune response, company says
CNN — Booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine generate a big spike in antibodies, which the body uses to protect against infection, the company reported Wednesday.
People who got another dose of the J&J vaccine saw antibodies increase nine-fold higher than 28 days after the first shot, Johnson & Johnson said.
The data comes from two Phase 2 studies conducted in the United States and Europe, the company said in a statement. Some of the people in the study got their booster doses six months after their first doses of J&J’s Janssen vaccine.
“New interim data from these studies demonstrate that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, nine-fold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination,” the company said in its statement.
“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 of research and development for Janssen, said in a statement.
J&J is talking with the US Food and Drug Administration, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Medicines Agency, World Health Organization, and other health authorities about the need for offering a booster dose of the J&J vaccine, company officials said.
“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,” Mammen added.
The J&J vaccine is made differently from Pfizer’s and Moderna’s. Those two vaccines use messenger RNA or mRNA, encased in little lipid particles, to carry instructions to the body to start an immune response. J&J uses a crippled common cold virus called an adenovirus to carry in similar instructions.
Federal health officials have said they believe a booster dose of the J&J vaccine will be needed at some point.
“I’m quite certain that the FDA, CDC, NIH, White House will use these data to likely justify or recommend a booster for J&J-vaccinated people, probably with a second shot of J&J,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a vaccine researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School who is not involved in the two clinical studies but is helping study J&J vaccines.
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