Second dose of J&J Covid jab increases protection to 94%, firm’s data shows
Johnson & Johnson has announced that a second shot of its Covid jab, administered around two months after the first, enhances the protection offered by the vaccine to 94% against moderate and severe cases of the virus in the US.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the pharmaceutical company released new data showing the increased efficacy of the vaccine after administering a top-up dose, with antibody levels rising four to six times higher than after the first. When given six months after the first dose, however, antibody levels climbed up twelve-fold.
The firm’s Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels stressed the importance of the single-shot J&J jab in fighting the global pandemic and “protecting as many people as possible against hospitalization and death.” However, Stoffels praised the recent evidence supporting the booster shot’s enhanced coverage.
As per the statement, the safety profile of the vaccine remained consistent and generally well tolerated as a booster dose.
J&J says it has submitted its data to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it plans to give its recent findings to the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other regulators globally.
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On Friday, the FDA recommended third shots of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine for people at higher risk from coronavirus and citizens over the age of 65. However, the panel stopped short of mass-authorizing boosters of Pfizer’s jab.
Rival mRNA vaccine developer Moderna has also been pushing for boosters, with the firm releasing a study last week to show that its shot’s efficacy wanes over time, making a claim that top-up doses could be beneficial.
The efficacy of the single-shot J&J jab was found to be lower than other vaccines at 66%, according to results from its phase-three trials. Meanwhile, the protection offered by the two-dose mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna stood at 95% and 94.5%, respectively.
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