J&J Hails Data in Antibody Study - Results Mean Booster Shots Are Coming


Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is touting a new study regarding booster shots for its one-dose vaccine, saying the dose significantly increases antibody levels to protect again COVID-19 infections.

The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company reported that those who got a booster shot approximately six to eight months after the initial vaccination date had a nine-fold increase in antibodies, compared to levels 28 days after the first shot, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Johnson & Johnson’s announcement comes weeks after the White House began a major push for booster shots for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in an effort to combat the delta variant.

In a news release on Wednesday, the company stated that two Phase 1/2a studies were conducted “in anticipation of the potential need for boosters.”

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The company reported that data from the trials suggested that “significant” increases in antibody levels were detected in the 18 to 55-year-old age group, while those 65 and older had similar responses with a lower dose.

“We have established that a single shot of o ur COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months,” Global Head of Research and Development for Janssen Research & Development Mathai Mammen said in the statement.

Mammen noted that the new data showed that a booster dose “further increases antibody response.”

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“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,” he said.

The company also said in the statement that it was in active discussions with the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Medicines Agency, about the need for booster shots.

“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,” Dr. Dan Barouch, a vaccine researcher at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told CNN.

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Barouch said the boost at six months would look “very impressive and substantially greater” than the two-month boost that was being tested.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine had previously been paused in April after several cases where a rare blood clot, known as “thrombosis,” was detected in several women, resulting in three deaths. The pause ended in late April.

Shortly after the pause, however, confidence in the vaccine plummeted following extensive coverage of the FDA’s decision, at one point in April plunging to a mere 22 percent of Americans who said they would take it.

Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna first hinted in May that booster shots could potentially be needed for the fall season, with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla saying they would likely be needed “eight to twelve months” after a person’s vaccination.

In an effort to encourage vaccinations, as well as potential booster shots if needed, New York City became one of the first cities in the country to impose a strict vaccine mandate, with Mayor Bill de Blasio urging citizens to “just buy into this.”

Companies have also begun to institute vaccine mandates for frontline workers, with one hospital system in June suspending nearly 200 employees for refusing the vaccine.

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told citizens to “put aside” concerns regarding their personal liberties and to just “realize that we’re dealing with a public health crisis.”

Several states, especially those which reportedly have some of the strictest public health measures to date, are experiencing a surge in COVID cases, with experts blaming the delta variant for the sudden increase.

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Jesse Stiller was a contributor with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He previously wrote for Campus Reform and the Daily Caller, and was a section editor for his school newspaper.
Jesse Stiller was a contributor with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He previously wrote for Campus Reform and the Daily Caller, and was a section editor for his school newspaper.