New data shows 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, among clinical trial participants.
This was revealed in a statement released by J&J on Wednesday, 25 August 2021, where the company announced data supporting the use of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for people previously vaccinated with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson’s data is based on two clinical trials conducted in the U.S. and Europe. As a result, the company submitted their results to the preprint database medRXIV on 24 August 2021, which still needs to be peer-reviewed.
However, Mathai Mammen, M.D., PhD, Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson, said, “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.”
Mammen adds that the company is now looking forward to discussion with public health officials regarding a potential strategy for their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination.
The company is engaging with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other health authorities regarding boosting with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Independent researchers have told NPR the finding would probably support giving people boosters with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But they noted that with 17 volunteers, the study was relatively small. In addition, they claimed the study does not appear to have tested whether the increased antibodies would necessarily translate into increased protection in the real world.
Johnson & Johnson states that it continues to generate and evaluate data from ongoing trials and emerging real-world evidence.
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