A two-dose version of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccination provides 94 percent protection against symptomatic infection, according to the company, making the Janssen vaccine comparable to Moderna’s or Pfizer’s two-dose regimen.
Furthermore, adding a booster dose to a single vaccine shot increased immunity even more, according to the business, and should provide strong protection against illness.
The company presented the results of three studies that looked at different parts of the Janssen vaccine, claiming that when taken together, they demonstrated the vaccination gave long-lasting protection that could be increased with an additional dose.
Dr. Mathai Mammen, worldwide head of Janssen Research & Development, stated in a statement, “Our substantial real-world evidence and Phase 3 studies demonstrate that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination provides strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations.”
“Our single-shot vaccine induces powerful immunological responses as well as long-term immune memory. When the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination is given as a booster, the level of protection against COVID-19 is increased even more.”
The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination on February 27. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 14.8 million Americans have received it.
In the United States, the company’s ongoing Phase 2 trial of a two-dose regimen found that providing two doses 56 days apart offered 100% protection against severe Covid-19 and 94 percent protection against moderate to severe Covid-19. According to the business, the two-dose regimen gave 75 percent protection against moderate-to-severe Covid-19 globally.
A second study found that those who had a booster shot six months or more after their initial dosage had a 12-fold rise in antibodies, compared to people who received a second dose at two months. So, according to Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, if they get boosters later, their protection should be stronger.
“If you wait a little longer and get your boost at six months or later, you’ll probably get a better boost,” Barouch added.
Third, according to the business, a real-world evidence study of 390,000 patients in the United States using health insurance information from January to July — covering the Delta version — found that the J&J vaccination was 81 percent effective at reducing hospitalizations.
“Vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related hospitalizations was 86 percent for participants less than 60 years, and 78 percent for those 60 years and older,” according to Johnson & Johnson.
“Vaccine efficacy was 79 percent for COVID-19 and 81 percent for COVID-19-related hospitalizations among 390,517 vaccinated and 1,524,153 matched unvaccinated persons,” the Janssen-led research team said in an online preprint.
“Observed COVID-19 rates were higher in both categories in high-Delta-incidence states than in the national cohort,” they noted.
“Vaccine effectiveness for COVID-19 was 79 percent overall in these states, and 78 percent during June and July, when Delta variant prevalence was highest,” they noted.
The statistics should reassure consumers who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, according to Barouch, who collaborated with Janssen to test the vaccine but was not directly engaged in the three studies.
“In the United States, all vaccines have demonstrated significant and long-lasting protection against serious disease and hospitalisation,” he stated.
“At the end of the day, a vaccine’s duty is to keep you from getting sick, from going to the hospital, and to keep you alive, and all vaccinations do that.”
Because the J&J vaccine was approved roughly two months later than the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, data on it has been delayed. Johnson & Johnson has stated that it will submit all of this information to the FDA for consideration of adding a booster dose and possibly authorising a two-dose regimen.
The Janssen vaccine is developed using a different technique than the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer. They carry messenger RNA, also known as mRNA, to the body encased in lipids. The J&J vaccine is manufactured with an adenovirus, which is a common cold virus that has been modified to enter cells but then cease. This is how genetic instructions are delivered.
According to Barouch, a variety of ways can be used.
“A single shot provides robust and persistent protection for a long time with minimum evidence of deterioration,” Barouch added.
“I believe the single-dose vaccine is a reasonable alternative for people and countries seeking a simple and convenient vaccine that can be administered rapidly,” he continued.
“A second shot can be administered at any time between two months and eight months for great protection — the longer you wait, the better.”
This is because the body mounts a number of immunological responses, he explained. Antibodies, which are immune system proteins that can either signal an invader or attack and neutralise it directly, accumulate quickly but fade over time.
B cells and T cells are also produced by the body and contribute to long-term defence. He claims that stimulating B cells with a boost after they have become less active causes them to produce fresh antibodies more effectively.
According to Barouch, the J&J vaccine may look less successful in nations other than the United States since it was tested in numerous countries at a time when variations that can circumvent vaccine protection were circulating.
The Beta or B.1.351 form, for example, includes so-called escape mutations that allow it to evade the immune system’s detection. It was widely distributed in South Africa, but Delta has outcompeted it in the United States, despite the fact that Delta does not appear to be immune-protected.
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