Johnson & Johnson Vaccine maker has said that its Covid-19 booster shot has a 94% effectiveness when administered two months after the first dose in the United States.
In addition to this, the booster also increases the antibody levels by four to six times compared with only one shot.
According to the drugmaker, the booster dose, given six months out from the first shot could be potentially even more protective against Covid and could also generate antibodies twelvefold higher, regardless of age, four weeks after the boost.
Additionally, when the dose is given as a booster, the vaccine remains well-tolerated, with side effects generally consistent with those seen after the initial dose, according to J&J.
The company’s chief scientific officer Dr Paul Stoffels said, “We now have generated evidence that a booster shot further increases protection against COVID-19 and is expected to extend the duration of protection significantly.”
The drugmaker hopes to make a case to the FDA with the new data that was provided in the press release, to authorize a booster shot to the 14.8 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.
Recently, the Biden administration announced plans to roll out booster shots for people who received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. However, an FDA advisory committee on Friday unanimously recommended Pfizer booster shots to people who are immunocompromised or vulnerable and 65 years and older. A final decision from the agency is expected any day now.
In response, U.S. health officials said they will not be recommending boosters of J&J’s shots till more data on the J&J vaccine is made available.
The company has said that globally, a booster shot given two months after the first dose is only 75% effective against symptomatic infection but in the U.S, the rate of efficacy for the J&J booster shot is 94%. It added that its effectiveness against severe diseases and illnesses is 100%.
Data has also been released from a real-world study that found that a single dose of its vaccine is effective and provides long-lasting protection against Covid-related hospitalizations.
The drugmaker said that the new data on a single dose will help the “critical” need “to prioritize protecting as many people as possible against hospitalization and death, given the continued spread of COVID-19 and rapidly emerging variants.”